Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
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The deep Crisis of the West
Isn't what it used to be
28.05.2012. Recent analyses of the human genome reveal a huge number of rare—and therefore probably fairly new—mutations, writes Matt Ridley in The Wall Street Journal. He continues:
If you write about genetics and evolution, one of the commonest questions you are likely to be asked at public events is whether human evolution has stopped. It is a surprisingly hard question to answer.
So we're evolving as a species toward greater individual (rather than racial) genetic diversity. But this isn't what most people mean when they ask if evolution has stopped. Mainly they seem to mean: "Has brain size stopped increasing?" For a process that takes millions of years, any answer about a particular instant in time is close to meaningless. Nonetheless, the short answer is probably "yes."
I say this for two reasons. First, it's clear, from glancing around society, that clever people—who on average have slightly bigger brains—aren't having more babies than less-clever people. Second, the fossil record strongly suggests that our brain size peaked at 1,500 cubic centimeters around 20,000 years ago and has since shrunk to 1,350 cc.
This neither worries nor surprises me. We ceased relying upon individual brain power tens of thousands of years ago. Our civilization now gets all its inventive and creative power from the linking of brains into networks. Our future depends on being clever not individually, but collectively.
Read the entire article in The Wall Street Journal.
Media censorship is beginning to attract more attention
18.05.2012. The media ignore racially motivated black-on-white crime, writes black author and researcher Thomas Sowell in National Review Online.
Added 25.05.2012: Should Black People Tolerate This?.
Account for under half of births in the USA
18.05.2012. After years of speculation, estimates and projections, the Census Bureau has made it official: White births are no longer a majority in the United States. Continue reading in The New York Times.
18.05.2012. Actual conversation between George Zimmerman and a dispatcher in the moments before the death of Trayvon Martin:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
However, somebody at NBC chose to edit this down to the following:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.
According to a statement from NBC:
We have launched an internal investigation into the editorial process surrounding this particular story
Read more at The washington Post. At least three people appear to have lost their jobs at NBC over this story, according English sources quoted by Document.no.
Black and white and red all over
11.05.2012, In a delicious piece of "gotcha" reporting (of the very best kind), Kyle Rogers exposes the disingenuous hive-mind of the media establishment when it comes to their (non-)reportage of Black-on-White violent crime. Rogers has pursued this issue indefatigably of late, naming names and exposing rampant bad faith and glaring double standards in the process. In this article, however, we witness him ambushing one particularly dodgy and dishonest scribbler with incisive questions that leave the hapless man squirming, sweating, and desperately defensive. It's a brilliant and beautiful moment of guerilla journalism, which really needs to be read to be appreciated. Thus begins Andy Nowicki his article at AltRight.
HonestThinking comments: There can hardly be any doubt that there is indeed a double standard being applied here. Some times the media are just too eager to highlight race. At other times they do their best to hide the issue. This is dishonest. This is disgusting. This is betraying the trust that the general public must have in the media in a true democracy.
Being destroyed by the ANC
11.05.2012. Here is a list of these worthy sacrifices posted on Facebook by one of my South African friends, Raymond Wilson, writes Colin Liddell at AltRight:
Handing an amazing country over to a Pro-Marxist ANC Government who "negotiated" whilst continuing their "armed struggle"The total breakdown of law and order
The systematic theft and corruption that resulted in the destruction of world class hospitals
The replacement of honest and hard working police personnel with former criminals and murderers
Eroding the once mighty and highly respected South African Defence Force into a ragtag, undisciplined army, where most combat soldiers are over 40 years of age and HIV positive
The corruption that saw the South African armed forces spend US$ 5.5 billion on weapons ill suited to African conditions
The systematic racial attacks on law-abiding White citizens whose only crime was voting in favour of change during the last Whites-only referendums
The orchestrated and senseless attacks on and murder of White farmers
The collapse of the education system, with the government dumbing down standards rather than attempting to improve the state education system
Corruption at every level of government with nepotism at every level that results in family members and friends of the government being awarded lucrative state tenders
The ANC government propping up the Mugabe regime and supplying Africa's most undemocratic despot state with electricity whilst ordinary South Africans suffer with daily power cuts
The militarisation of 3000 ANC youths under the "Narysec" program where they will receive two years of advanced military training by the SADF
The new and unjustified e-Toll system where motorists have to pay toll fee to use existing roads. This practice being brought in without any consultation or negotiation, however "black taxis" are exempt
The list is endless and if this is the price we have had to pay for freedom, I think we'd be better off if S.A. had stayed the way it was under Apartheid.
Read the entire article at AltRight.
Professor at Brooklyn College reports from Norway
08.05.2012 (updated 09.05.2012). A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Professor Moustafa Bayoumi during his visit to Norway. He has written an article for The Nation, summarizing his findings after talking to several people in various Norwegian cities; Breivik's Monstrous Dream—and Why It Failed. Also available at the Democracy gone Astray blog.
Erratum: In said article yours truly is presented as «an evangelical Christian». This, however, is not correct. While I did indeed grow up in an evangelical church, and continued to be active in evangelical circles for about twenty years beyond adolescence, towards the end of 1998 it dawned on me (after years of intellectual struggles) that I could no longer subscribe to the core beliefs of evangelicalism. For the record: I still consider myself a theist who identifies with the Christian message.
A classical article from The New York Times
06.05.2012. I was recently made aware of Richard Bernstein's article from 1990, viz Ideas & Trends; The Rising Hegemony of the Politically Correct. Here are some excerpts:
Instead of writing about literary classics and other topics, as they have in the past, freshmen at the University of Texas next fall will base their compositions on a packet of essays on discrimination, affirmative-action and civil-rights cases. The new program, called "Writing on Difference," was voted in by the faculty last month and has been praised by many professors for giving the curriculum more relevance to real-life concerns. But some see it as a stifling example of academic orthodoxy.
"You cannot tell me that students will not be inevitably graded on politically correct thinking in these classes," Alan Gribben, a professor of English, said at the time the change was being discussed.
The term "politically correct," with its suggestion of Stalinist orthodoxy, is spoken more with irony and disapproval than with reverence. But across the country the term p.c., as it is commonly abbreviated, is being heard more and more in debates over what should be taught at the universities. There are even initials -- p.c.p. -- to designate a politically correct person. And though the terms are not used in utter seriousness, even by the p.c.p.'s themselves, there is a large body of belief in academia and elsewhere that a cluster of opinions about race, ecology, feminism, culture and foreign policy defines a kind of "correct" attitude toward the problems of the world, a sort of unofficial ideology of the university.
Pressure to Conform
Last weekend, a meeting of the Western Humanities Conference in Berkeley, Calif., was called " 'Political Correctness' and Cultural Studies," and it examined what effect the pressure to conform to currently fashionable ideas is having on scholarship.
Central to p.c.-ness, which has roots in 1960's radicalism, is the view that Western society has for centuries been dominated by what is often called "the white male power structure" or "patriarchal hegemony." A related belief is that everybody but white heterosexual males has suffered some form of repression and been denied a cultural voice or been prevented from celebrating what is commonly called "otherness."
[...] The view that Western civilization is inherently unfair to minorities, women and homosexuals has been at the center of politically correct thinking on campuses ever since the recent debate over university curriculums began.
Affirmative action is politically correct. So too are women's studies, gay and lesbian studies, and African-American studies, all of which are strongly represented in the scholarly panels at such professional meetings as those of the American Historical Association and the Modern Language Association. [...]
The cluster of politically correct ideas includes a powerful environmentalism and, in foreign policy, support for Palestinian self-determination and sympathy for third world revolutionaries, particularly those in Central America. Biodegradable garbage bags get the p.c. seal of approval. Exxon does not.
But more than an earnest expression of belief, "politically correct" has become a sarcastic jibe used by those, conservatives and classical liberals alike, to describe what they see as a growing intolerance, a closing of debate, a pressure to conform to a radical program or risk being accused of a commonly reiterated trio of thought crimes: sexism, racism and homophobia.
"It's a manifestation of what some are calling liberal fascism," said Roger Kimball, the author of "Tenured Radicals," a critique of what he calls the politicization of the humanities. "Under the name of pluralism and freedom of speech, it is an attempt to enforce a narrow and ideologically motivated view of both the curriculum and what it means to be an educated person, a responsible citizen."
Certain subjects, such as affirmative action and homosexuality, have been removed from civil debate, Mr. Kimball says, so strong is the force to accept the politically correct view. More accurately, perhaps, the figures on campuses opposed to affirmative action, for example, are regarded as radicals of the right.
Some of the intolerance of the p.c. point of view comes from conservatives like Mr. Kimball and Allan Bloom, the author of "The Closing of the American Mind," who complain that there is a hidden radical agenda in university curriculums. The p.c.p.'s respond that they are reacting to an orthodoxy set in place by the traditionalists.
Drawing on the theories of Marxist and deconstructionist literary critics, some even question the very notion that there is such a thing as disinterested, objective scholarship. Some conservatives see a paradox in this.
"Those who are critics of objectivity, who reject claims about standards and quality, contradict themselves in believing so powerfully that they are the holders of the only truth," said Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College. Mr. Botstein, a critic of both the p.c.p.'s and their conservative adversaries, feels that the universities are being polarized into two intolerant factions. "The idea of candor and the deeper idea of civil discourse is dead," he said. "The victims are the students."
Read the entire article at NYT. Hat tip to Vidar Enebakk of the University of Oslo.
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