Open Thread and Link Farm: More Nerds vs Jocks

Post what you like. Posting links, including self-linking, is totally cool with us.

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John Hodgman, speaking in front of President Obama, takes the opportunity to discuss the nerd/jock divide. (Via Ezra, where you can also view the President’s fairly funny speech.)

  1. Racism’s Hidden Toll. Does the stress of living in a white-dominated society make African Americans get sick and die younger than their white counterparts? Apparently, yes. (Focuses on the research of Arline Geronimus, who I swiped from a lot when writing this post.) (Related thought: If discrimination and bigotry causes bad health, what does that say about the claim that fat people have health problems more often than middle-weight people?)
  2. How copyright stifles progress, and how it could be rethought to encourage progress.
  3. Video: Christians exorcising the gay out of teens. Very disturbing. Except that you can no longer view it, because the people who apparently abused a gay teen in the name of religion, have claimed that allowing the public to see the evidence violates their copyright.
  4. I really wish I could be in China a month from now, to view the full solar eclipse. Boing Boing quotes Roberto Casati:

    A total eclipse is by far the most impressive natural phenomenon that we terrestrials can witness. The staging doesn’t lessen its brutal effects. The temperature drops. A mysterious cold wind starts blowing. The shadow comes running up like a hurricane on the sea. The light collapses, and in just a few seconds, a metallic night falls–it comes on so fast the mind is not ready for it. On the horizon, unreachably far away, are the vestiges of daytime: an orangy twilight all around, as if a set designer made a mistake in projecting a sunset. In the midst of all this is a sun that’s no longer a furnace but just an unlucky rock: its shining fringe is like the silver mane of hair of some aged celestial divinity; and stars glitter again, caught out of place in this out-of-joint nighttime.

  5. The idea that the US doesn’t ration health care is absurd. We certainly do. We just make people do it to themselves out of economic hardship.”
  6. It’s both gratifying and weird to see Rad Geek, a libertarian who is not a right-winger or an anti-immigrant racist, completely school another libertarian who is a right-winger and a racist. Gratifying because Rad Geek rocks and the person he’s arguing against has genuinely offensive opinions, and weird because some of the particulars of the argument — like, which one of them is being more genuinely radically anti-government? — are places I’d never even think to go.
  7. Under Misspelled Banner, Buchanan And White Nationalist Brimelow Argue For English-Only Initiatives. Irony has a liberal bias.
  8. Awsome colorist Steve Oliff is interviewed about comics coloring techniques and technology in the 1980s, when a lot of innovation was taking place. What, me nerdy?
  9. Dear Andrea Dworkin, a critique of Dworkin’s views on women, sex and pornography. (Via).
  10. I Feel Pretty, I Feel Coerced Into Being Co-Opted By the Patriarchalist Beauty Myth (Via).
  11. The assumptions made when discussing “trafficking”
  12. 77 members of Congress call on Obama to improve enforcing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, by ordering that the Army stop asking, and stop listening to snitches.
  13. If you’re putting off donating to Democrats until they stop putting off gay rights, here’s an awesome FAX you can send.
  14. Katie Roiphe reviews the stripper-memoir genre and finds it formulaic and, disappointingly, slut-shaming. Good article, except when Roiphe criticizes other writers for their trite use of feminism, I truly want someone to shove a pie into her face. (Via Amanda‘s Facebook.)
  15. A Graphical Overview of Same Sex Marriage Debate
  16. No, the DOJ brief did not say gay relationships are like incest and pedophilia. Yes, it was offensive.
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29 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm: More Nerds vs Jocks

  1. 1
    Elusis says:

    Oh man:

    “Andrea Dworkin: I THINK YOU ARE KIND OF A CONCERN TROLL, is what I think.”

    is pretty much my favorite line ever from the feminist wars.

  2. 2
    Renee says:

    Feminism the White Women Are Chatting: Looking at why erasing women of color from a conversation about whether or not feminism is relevant is once again a display of white privilege.

    Justice Is Blind Unless You Are Latino: A young white man gets 10 days in jail for dragging a Latino teen around a parking after tying a noose to his neck and we are supposed to believe that justice is blind.

    Apology For Slavery But No Reparations: Congress apologizes but makes sure to let African Americans no that they are in no way offering to fix the issues that the white supremacist state created.

    A Study In Ableism: A man is forced to wear a red cap to identify him as being disabled to fellow workers. Instead of understanding or even empathy discrimination is what occurs because he has Aspergers Syndrome

  3. 3
    FilthyGrandeur says:

    Happy Father’s Day, Ted: i posted this yesterday, to show my appreciation for my stepfather, and I encourage all who read to contribute with comments of their own fathers, father-figures, or just someone they love.

    Adam Lambert’s Rolling Stone Interview–full of win: nuff said.

  4. 4
    sanabituranima says:
  5. 5
    The Czech says:

    The Czech is back after a (stalker-induced) hiatus:

    Everyone wants to know: Why My Name Is The Czech.

    TIME Tackles the “Why Don’t Gays Go Extinct?” Conundrum. Thanks for your totally awesome, non-condescending analysis, guys.

    Vegetarian Don’ts: when discussing vegetarianism and its benefits, please avoid these arguments. A friendly Public Service Reminder from The Czech.

  6. 6
    Myca says:

    Oh man:

    “Andrea Dworkin: I THINK YOU ARE KIND OF A CONCERN TROLL, is what I think.”

    is pretty much my favorite line ever from the feminist wars.

    The amazing thing for me, reading through the post and all the comments, is that the heat to light ratio overall is pretty damn good. I mean, even when people are snarking at the author personally, she generally first addresses their argument, and then says, “Oh, and by the way, you’re attacking me personally in ways that are uncool,” which is a great way to handle it.


  7. 7
    chingona says:

    Just for fun …

    June 24, tomorrow for me as I type this, but today for most of you reading it, is the saint’s day of St. John the Baptist. In Tucson, it’s marked as the start of the monsoon season, whether it actually rains or not, and there is a procession by our “river” (which now only runs during storms, though it used to flow yearround) asking for rain. In Paraguay, it falls nearly at the winter solstice and is marked by a raucous party in which people play many dangerous games with fire, including walking on hot coals, burning an effigy of Judas that is stuffed with firecrackers so that he explodes, playing soccer with soccer balls wrapped in kerosene soaked rags and set on fire and charging the crowds with a large puppet in the form of a bull with burning horns.

    YouTube does not disappoint. Great footage of the pelota tatã (the burning soccer balls) and the toro candíl (the bull with the burning horns).

  8. 8
    Jake Squid says:

    I include this for the video of “Press Hop” at the top. A brilliant example of what can be done with Autotune.,172179

  9. 9
    Radfem says:

    Local blogging is always fun. And now that local elections are over for a while, I can blog on other things. One of my postings got discussed in the closed session of city council. Don’t know if that’s good or bad, not to mention the crowd of police it brought to speak out at a meeting on the issue before they were somewhat mollified by the city.

    At any rate, I also have been blogging on lawsuits filed by two lieutenants I know. The allegations of the role that City Hall plays in the police department is pretty outrageous.

  10. 10
    Radfem says:

    The police had come out to speak on raises being proposed to being given to department heads including their own while 80 officers hadn’t gotten bonus or step up pay b/c of cuts. I guess I have more police readers than I thought.

    My relatives from Canada and NZ are coming in for annual visit but the NZ crew is hoping they don’t get the swine flu. Many cases over there (as they’re in their winter and were looking at snow a week ago).

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    Bar beating video: Chicago cop who beat bartender gets probation

    Obrycka hoped Abbate would do some time for his conviction, she said, but she wasn’t pointing any fingers Tuesday. “I was disappointed that he didn’t get a sentence to go to jail,” she said. “But I can’t criticize the judge.”

    Some legal experts did criticize Circuit Judge John Fleming’s decision. But because Obrycka did not suffer serious physical injuries and Abbate had no criminal history, most lawyers weren’t surprised. For her part, Obrycka was more angry that Abbate has never apologized to her. In fact, his lawyer, Peter Hickey, continued blaming her for the incident during the sentencing hearing Tuesday.

    At the center of the case was security video from Jesse’s Short Stop Inn on Feb. 19, 2007, that showed the hulking officer throw Obrycka against a wall, then slam her to the floor, where he aimed a series of frenzied punches and kicks at her.

    Abbate had walked behind the bar after she refused to serve him more alcohol. Obrycka, who is half Abbate’s size, shouted at him, but he did not leave her work area. When she tried to push him out, the assault started, with other patrons looking on.

    At the sentencing hearing, prosecutors presented a second, previously unreleased video that they said showed Abbate beating a man in the same Northwest Side bar six hours before he attacked Obrycka. It was one of two other fights they say he got into that day — proof, they said, that he was a “brutal, dangerous” man. No charges were filed in the second taped attack because the victim, a patron, declined to press charges, prosecutors said.

    But Fleming, who found Abbate guilty of aggravated battery this month in a two-day bench trial, chose 2 years of probation instead of any jail time. He said the law requires that he consider a host of factors — such as prior criminal history, severity of the injury to the victim and whether a stiff sentence would serve as a deterrent to others — in deciding whether to send the officer to prison.

    “If I believed sending Anthony Abbate to prison would stop people from getting drunk and hitting other people, I’d sentence him to the maximum,” Fleming said. “But I don’t believe that is the case.”

    The Chicago Police Department’s handling of the case drew criticism because police first tried to charge Abbate with a misdemeanor before the video became public. Just weeks later, video of a second barroom beating involving off-duty officers at the Jefferson Tap and Grille emerged, heaping more outrage on a police department already under fire in the Special Operations Section scandal, in which officers allegedly kidnapped and robbed people in dozens of incidents over several years.

    With allegations of cover-ups to protect accused officers in all three incidents, then-Supt. Philip Cline was forced into retirement by Mayor Richard Daley.

    The fallout from the scandals motivated Daley to go outside the department for Cline’s replacement, settling on former FBI official Jody Weis, an unpopular choice with rank-and-file officers.

    On Tuesday, Weis said, “I don’t think anyone who behaves like that should be a police officer.”

    The department is seeking to have Abbate fired, and the Independent Police Review Authority has recommended his dismissal, Weis said. The case is up before the Police Board on July 7.

    Someone getting drunk and beating up someone else is nothing new. A cop doing it is nothing new. And yeah – with no prior history, even you are likely to get off with no jail time the first time around, even if you’re not a cop. But here’s what bothers me that no one seems to comment on:

    “When she tried to push him out, the assault started, with other patrons looking on.

    Cowards. Understand that this is a cop bar. The other patrons were most likely cops. And they just stood there and did nothing.

  12. 12
    PG says:

    New data indicating that while a BMI deemed “obese” may decrease longevity, people who are “overweight” live longer than those deemed “normal” and *much* longer than those deemed “underweight.”

  13. 13
    RonF says:

    TIME Tackles the “Why Don’t Gays Go Extinct?” Conundrum.

    Well, that’s simple enough. It’s not genetic. Or, at least, there’s no genetic effect that’s anywhere near the primary cause.

  14. 14
    PG says:


    Are you not familiar with the studies on differences in brain structure and hormones between gays and straights? I’m a bit skeptical, personally, but they’re out there. And what do you consider the non-genetic cause of homosexuality among other animals? I thought it had become pretty well accepted among educated people that homosexuality can be an adaptive trait in order to increase the number of “aunts” and “uncles” that do not reproduce themselves but provide additional care for others’ offspring, particularly orphaned offspring. In other words, homosexuality won’t pass on your most specific set of genes, but it will aid in passing on your parents’ genes.

  15. 15
    Elusis says:

    PG –

    The “gay brain” studies are pretty thoroughly discredited.

  16. 16
    Jake Squid says:

    Affirmative Action for the rich and powerful:,0,3541380.story

    Though I’m sure that this is just particular to that unique bastion of political corruption, Illinois.

  17. 17
    PG says:


    Could you provide a link for the discrediting? I’ve been seeing stuff about hypothalamus differences and brain scans for years (including a study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) but haven’t seen a scientific rebuttal, just people picking at the studies for various reasons (usually having to do with too small an n).

  18. 18
    RonF says:

    The reaction to that out here is very strong. U of I in Champaign/Urbana is a highly sought-after school for high school graduates in Illinois because it has an excellent academic reputation in multiple fields and being a state school it’s a lot cheaper than going to a private school or out of state. They are selective in who they admit – it’s not an easy school to get in to. My son graduated from there this May with an engineering degree; there were ~ 850 freshmen that started out in his particular discipline his freshman year. Approximately 250 graduated in it, the rest ended up in business or something else or washed out of school entirely.

    What that means is that every spring there are a large number of disappointed students and parents who didn’t get into U of I and had to settle for a school that either was less academically, cost more, or both. This is a true scandal and people want scalps. They’ve pissed off the soccer moms with this one.

    There is a vocal minority that is saying “Grow up. You think this doesn’t go on at all schools?” My reaction is a) “No, I don’t.” and b) “It damn well shouldn’t and that’s no excuse for U of I.”

  19. 19
    Elusis says:

    PG – you can google “gay brain studies.”

    The LeVay stuff had multiple problems (one of which was, IIRC, all his gay male subjects had died of HIV, and another of which was, IIRC, total epic fail in a double blind) and is pretty much toast. The lesbian middle fingers, also toast. The current stuff has exactly the same problems as the previous studies, the most important of which are

    1) Mixing up correlation and causation. Do lesbian brain structures resemble straight males’ more closely because they have done so from birth which caused the lesbian sexual identity, or because living a life less constricted by sexual and gender norms, and focusing on women as sexual objects, has caused those structures to develop in similar ways? Same question for the gay men/straight women resemblances.

    2) Total inability to explain bisexual people. Does my brain look like a straight woman’s, a straight man’s, what exactly? (Not to mention people like, say, my lesbian friend who also is attracted to transmen, I mean what’s going on with her?)

    #1 is the most damning because unless you scan a whole bunch of babies’ brains at birth, then do at least a 25-year longitudinal study to see who turns out queer, you’ve got nothing.

  20. 20
    PG says:


    Sorry, when I ran the Google search, most of what came up that was critical of the studies is stuff like NARTH (people trying to “cure” homosexuality) and CWFA (far right wing, anti-gay women’s group). The MSM and pro-gay folks have fairly positive reporting of the studies. Do you have a recommendation of a neutral or pro-gay critique of the studies’ findings?

    I agree that there’s a correlation vs. causation issue here, but that doesn’t discredit the studies’ showing that there are brain differences (which is all the studies claim, not that these brain differences existed from the beginning of one’s life).

  21. 21
    RonF says:

    So pro-gay people (MSM and pro-gay being a redundancy) favor the studies and anti-gay people find fault with them. Why should I believe one over the other?

  22. 22
    Mandolin says:

    “MSM and pro-gay being a redundancy”

    Prove it.

    “Why should I believe one over the other?”

    Learn enough to judge the studies yourself?

  23. 23
    Myca says:

    Why should I believe one over the other?

    Look at them yourself, and try to find fault with them. If you are unable to, then great. Test the hypothesis. Examine the study. That’s how science works.

    I mean, look, man:

    So pro-science people favor a heliocentric universe and church authorities find fault with it. Why should I believe one over the other?

    Golly, I dunno. I guess it’s just a he-said she-said situation. No way to judge which is correct.


  24. 24
    Simple Truth says:

    @Sailorman in the MJ thread:

    I actually tend to disagree with this blog when the “party lines” get too judgmental. I don’t comment against some of the posts specifically because it’s not a place I feel I’ve been accepted in yet, but many of the positions are more extremist than I have personally. I’m a big proponent of individualism and taking people a case at a time rather than as a label. I hope that’s come through in my posts.
    In lieu of a lengthy explanation of the complications of human behavior, I will simply use the quote that I use for my signature by the famous Oscar Wildes – “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

  25. 25
    Paul R says:

    Complete change of topic. Today, I logged into Facebook, and one of the names that came up as a “suggested friend” was none other than Barry Deutsch of Portland, OR.

    What’s puzzling is that I have never met Barry. I have never even been to Oregon. And Facebook didn’t show that we have any friendsd in common. I have posted a few times on this blog, and I’ve only e-mailed Ampersand ( I didn’t know his name was Barry) once to apologize for a double post. Stranger still, the e-mail account I use for my posts here and for my e-mail to Ampersand is different from the one I use for Facebook.

    So, how in the world did the folks at Facebook find this obscure connection between us?

  26. 26
    Ampersand says:

    Huh. How odd. Or possibly, creepy.

  27. 27
    Sailorman says:

    The Ricci decision is out. You may know it as the “New Haven Firefighter” decision. It turned out to be a very important case, addressing the competition between the goals of process and output for racial issues.

    To be more precise, it addresses the balance between the goal of “be neutral in process, i.e. do your best to objectively assess things without regard to race” on the one hand, and “produce neutral results, i.e. do your best to alter conditions so that the racial balance of the outcome is related to the racial balance of the inputs.”*

    The decision itself is here, and is worth a read though it is long:

    The commentary and summary seem to be fairly on target from what I’ve read so far (and i’ve also read the entire case and dissent), so if you can’t read the case, try the commentary. Here: is some from the volokh conspiracy.

    The case was predicted to be a brushoff, where they’d send it down for further review without setting real precedent. but the Supremes took it on full blast, and have set some interesting precedent here.

    The case is also notable, as it just so happens to be on appeal from Sotomayor’s court (in the 2nd Circuit) and from per curiam opening where Sotomayor joined in. Thus, it offers a very rare opportunity fr a nominee, to do a direct comparison between a judge’s recent participation in decision and the supreme court holding.

    Did you wonder how Sotomayor would have affected this case at the supremes? now you know, no need to wonder.

    *This contradiction has always sort of been an issue with equal protection law and certain civil rights legislation. But there’s nothing inherently wrong with a contradiction between two principles, it happens all the time. The question is where to find the balance. This case has clarified the balance.

    Incidentally, what this case also demonstrates is what an unusually bad job New Haven did of building evidence to support its position. As you’ll see if you read the entire thing, they never got serious independent analysis which went to the heart of things; they never produced a third party witness who reviewed and questioned the test.

    Not to be too cynical, but in this day and age you can always find SOME putative “expert” who will give the advice you want. New haven’s failure to do so is inexcusable, and may have been a turning point here. It certainly gave the majority more room to hang their hat.

  28. 28
    Joy-Mari Cloete says:

    The link to ‘The assumptions made when discussing “trafficking”‘ ain’t working.

  29. 29
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks! The link is fixed now.