Smash the Patriarchy and Put More Women in Peril

This is partly a failure of feminism. the systems that would have protected her in the past are those that patriarchy set up to save young people from the folly of following their young unruly passions.

Left to their own devices (in the US white context) both young men and young women more often than not have terrible, awful and destructive taste in prospective mates. This is why there was a whole system in place to stop them.  Eligible young women were surrounded by old dragons to keep the bounders and cads at bay and young men were subjected to whithering scrutiny. The precise mechanisms differed by class and region but the general system was the same. Marriage was the only real outlet for sexual fulfillment (or any kind of non-scandalous sex life) and both young women and men had to prove themselves worthy of entering into it.

Of course this created victims, especially among those who were able to outsmart their keepers and the most pitiable cases were women (who could find that following that dashing, exciting man led to destitution and social exile once he disappeared as he usually did).

A big problem of feminism is that it never evolved past the victim mentality and often failed to see the big picture. Feminists rightly saw the injustice of the previous systems but never saw past that to the bigger picture, including the sad fact that lots of people, especially young adults don’t necessarily have good judgement. They fought for sexual emancipation which sounds nice, but never thought about what that would mean for those without material, educational or social resources to fall back on when things go south.

Femimist sexual ethics tended to start and end with the idea that men are predators who prey on women and that women should be free to follow their hearts and baser urges. And that leads to things like a pregnant unmarried and probably unemployable 18 year old following a ‘fiance’ and finding herself utterly alone and dependent on him.

I’m not saying we necessarily want a return of the dragons but an unmarried pregnant 18 year old with no social network completely dependent on a man with no legal obligation to her is probably not what feminists had in mind when they twirtle about ‘smashing patriarchy’ but it is a real world result.

You’ll notice I write about feminism in the past tense. It’s dead. No one needs anything that modern feminism is offering. Let’s put the poor beast out of its misery and build something new which balances sexual freedom with sexual and social responsibility.

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Unlearning Octopus Aggression

I think I have a pretty good idea what ‘unlearn’ means in each of the examples in this video. Does this mean that there’s a chance that the university in question will send me a degree?

What could be more unlearning-like than not even ever being on the same continent as the university?

On the positive side, as opposed to unlearning, an undefinable buzzword meant to lull the gullible, there is at least one cool researcher at this university.

I can safely bet that no unlearning was involved in figuring out the signals intra-species octopus aggression. And as an added bonus, the bried footage of octopus fights should provide lots of handy nightmare fuel.

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Internet Getting Worse Dept, File #34 Finding Songs Through Their Melodies

This is just more proof of the internet getting worse with each new update and every iphone sold. A few years ago I wanted to know the name of a piece of classical music. I googled something like ‘find song by melody’ and a few pages came up. The first or second page was easy enough to use (I think it was based on entering notes on a stave) that within a few minutes of tinkering I found the name of the piece in question (Arabesque by Debussy for the curious).

Today I heard a composition on the radio (it sounded familiar and I thought it sounded like a film soundtrack). Wanting to know what it was, I went to google and entered the same kind of phrase. And all the pages that showed up were useless. They were not only passively useless (I can deal with those) but aggressively useless in that they prevent you from finding what you want by hogging the results.

About nine tenths of the hits were articles about mobile phone apps. One of the few potentially useful hits ended up being terrible as it kept freezing (the newest update to Firefox makes more and more pages useless this way, part of their multi-pronged policy of self-immolation). Other sites where you hum the melody were even worse as they just fed back a bunch of pop crap that sounded nothing remotely like the song in question.

The way I finally found the song was to think to go to the stations website where they list their playlist by the hour. I quickly found it there (The instrumental version of The Wings, from the soundtrack to Brokeback Mountain for the curious).

Everything useful in the internet or personal computers seems to come from before 2006 or so. EVERYTHING that has come since represents a net loss of usefulness for anyone but brainless consumers.

There was plenty of crap on the internet before the cut off but it was also easy to avoid it and find the useful information. That’s getting harder and harder.

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It’s Not Just the Weather, it’s Also the People

I think some people are taking the wrong message here. I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida (spent a lot of time in the middle of the state, including on a cattle ranch) and here’s a fun fact – I almost never felt hot and I have no memory of people complaining about the heat. I have more memories of being cold than of being hot. Of course, in that environment anything under 60 degrees Fahrenheit felt very cold and under 50 felt like end- of -the-world, bitter, bone piercing cold. Maybe because those kinds of temperatures weren’t the norm that I remember them. But the only time I felt hot was when I spent a lot of time in the direct sun doing work type things…. which wasn’t that common. And none of the houses I spent the most time in had air conditioning and neither did the schools I went to. At most we might also have an electric fan or two at home.

The crucial difference between then and now was, I think, fear of crime. We never locked the door and we left windows open all the time,. Close to the Gulf there was almost always some kind of breeze and that was enough, along with the long term acclimation and a fan or two, to keep things very livable, even in the summer. Even further inland natural breezes and a fan or two were enough to keep things okay.

When I went to university, in Gainesville, things were different. I left the window open once when I went to the movies and when I got back home I found out why nobody else on the street was not doing that. I was living in an old wooden house (divided down the middle into two shotgun apartments) and it would have been very livable if I could just leave the window open but that wasn’t feasible and so it became a hellish sweatbox until I bought an air conditioner (which I usually only used a few hours in the early evening).

Back around 12 or 13 years ago there was a major heatwave in France and thousands of older people died and it turned out this was partly because they were afraid to leave their windows open at night (and I remember similar occurences in the US). Another problem (and change from when I was a child) is that modern buildings in Florida are built around an air conditioning system and quickly become unbearable without it (the same way that cities built around cars are unlivable for people without cars. And maybe retiring to a place where air conditioning is a necessity to feel good is maybe not the wisest idea.

I like air conditioning just fine, especially when I travel to hotter places since I’ve lost a lot of my former heat resistance (Poland will do that to you) but I think it’s often more a human created necessity rather than a basic necessity.

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New Header Picture – Knights of Malta?

Decided to change the header picture. This time it’s part of a mounted escort accompanying a diplomat (from Macedonia IIRC) in Malta.

If any of the riders, or horses, would like me to remove this (or just want to be credited) they should contact me and I will change the picture (or give them credit) at my earliest convenience.

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Too Many Bullets to Dodge…

In 2008 I supported Hillary Clinton over Obama because I thought he was too young and inexperienced (his terms did not change this perception for me). Part of me thought that his 2008 run was a rehearsal for a later run that got out of hand. I didn’t think Clinton would be a very good president but I thought she’d probably be a respectable place holder and certainly better than anyone the Republicans were likely to come up with (esp McCain, what a terrible choice….).

In 2016 I thought Clinton’s time had past and she should give up her idea of being the first First Lady to transition to the Big Office. I wasn’t tremendously happy about Sanders (so oooold, including his ideas). In retrospect it seems like another example of Baby Boomers hogging the spotlight (Sanders is on the cusp of the Silent and Baby Boom generations) instead of actively working to pass the torch to the next generation. And the Republican field seemed even worse – a rainbow of crapitude in which even Donald Trump didn’t seem worse than the average.

I didn’t vote in the final since I don’t live in the US but if I was I wouldn’t have voted for Trump in the general, I would have held my nose and voted for Clinton.

But here’s the thing. I don’t think things would be one bit better if she had been elected. They would be bad in a different way that might make some people happier, but I’m more and more convinced that she was/is fundamentally no more suited to the office of POTUS than Trump is.

A lot of this is connected to excerpts or summaries of her new book. Now the chances of me actually buying and reading this are only slightly less than me leading an army of super intelligent rhinoceri across the Mediterranean and conquering Morocco, but the excerpts and summaries showing up all point in two very clear directions.

First, she’s a terrible leader. She never accepts responsibility for anything going wrong. It’s always someone else’s fault. Unable to inspire, she looks for scapegoats for her own failures and serving up rationalizations rather than facing the unpalatable truth – she ran a deeply flawed campaign.

Secondly, she’s not giving up. This book is clearly the opening salvo of her 2020 campaign. She’s going to try again unless the Demcoratic apparatus unites to stop her. If Democrats want a shot in 2020 they have to find some other candidate, no matter how much she guilts them or how many connections she has.

Some Trump supporters portray his victory as ‘dodging a bullet’, but it wasn’t. He’s fundamentally unsuited to the political process of give and take interactions a president needs to get stuff done and he has no idea how to deal with the incrusted bureaucracy of Washington or the office of president itself that can’t simply be fired.

In retrospect there was no way to dodge a bullet in the 2016 election, the only question is which bullet got the country and how and where the damage would manifest itself.

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Russians Ruin Everything (in TV)

Okay, I’m watching Salvation a moderately entertaining political thriller with some sci-fi thrown in and then they bring in a Russian plotline and my interest starts cratering. US movies and TV never get Russians right. Instead they’re mostly built on an old stereotype from Cold War era TV and movies.

In this iteration (House of Cards had the same problem) Russians are hyper-organized and super-efficient, cold and calculating and effortlessly multi-lingual and likely to have some kind of lingering affection for American pop culture and slightly sad at the prospect of its destruction.

This is ridiculously unlike real Russians who (in my experience) are more likely to be disorganized and (over) emotional and able to use foreign languages only at great mental and psychological cost.

Of course most Russians don’t fit any neat checklist of national stereotypical characteristics but the distance between the real life Russians I’ve known (including university professors) and the US TV stereotype really bugs me.

And they get stupid things wrong. A character, the Russian ambassador to the US, is named Katya Osinov which is wrong twice. Katya is a nickname used in private life by friends and family and would not be used in official circles (it would be Ekaterina I think) and Osinov is a male form (in Slavic languages last names often have distinct male and female forms and a woman would be Osinova, maybe Osina). The only way a woman in the real world would be named Katya Osinov is if she was born and raised outside of Russia (and therefore unlikely to become an ambassador).

I’m sticking with the show to see if I can ride out the Russian detour without being forced to rage quit.


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