Open Thread and Link Farm, About To Leave England Edition

  1. Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled White Nationalism Into The Mainstream
    A long read, but very interesting slash infuriating.
  2. Related: Vice Has Fired the Writer Who Told Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos to ‘Please Mock This Fat Feminist’
    This is a rare case where I approve of firing someone for something they said in a private email. Broadly is an explicitly feminist site; a Broadly editor passing anti-feminist story tips to Milo saps the publication of all credibility.
  3. Civil-Rights Protests Have Never Been Popular – The Atlantic
    “… only 22 percent of all Americans approved of the Freedom Rides, and only 28 percent approved of the sit-ins. The vast majority of Americans—60 percent—had ‘unfavorable. feelings about the March on Washington.”
  4. The Jones Act – The Law Strangling Puerto Rico – The New York Times
    (Indirect link.) Completely appalling. Since this article was published, the Trump administration bowed to pressure to waive the Jones Act – but only for ten days, which won’t be enough.
  5. ‘Junk science’: experts cast doubt on widely cited college free speech survey | US news | The Guardian
  6. A female Marvel comics editor posts a selfie of herself and some female co-workers drinking milkshakes — and fanbabies throw a fit :: We Hunted The Mammoth
    I’m late with this story – I was aware of it at the time, but distracted by work overload so didn’t tune in. But it’s worth remembering, because the misogyny is so unhidden. “They are women and they work in comics! We must attack!” Includes a comment by youtuber Diversity & Comics, who has tens of thousands of followers, calling them fake geek girls.
  7. German Senior Homes Build Fake Bus Stops For Alzheimer’s patients
  8. Careful New Study Finds at Least Thousands in Two Wisconsin Counties Didn’t Vote Because of Voter ID Requirements, Confusion Over Them | Election Law Blog
  9. (18) The Left | ContraPoints – YouTube
    This 13 minute critique of the antifa left – in which vlogger Contrapoints plays both parts in a fairly friendly debate – is entertaining and well done. I think it makes some good points, but then, I would.
  10. ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES: Too Much Push For Gender Equality In Tech? The MRAs Speak.
    Echinde comments on that New York Times article.
  11. Graphic Novel ‘This One Summer’ Tops 2016 Most Challenged Book List – NBC News
    “Most challenged” as in, people trying to get libraries to destock it. (If I’ve understood correctly.) It’s also a genuinely great graphic novel, one of the best I’ve read this decade.
  12. Roman Polanski is now facing a 4th accusation of sexual assault against a teen – Vox
  13. Examining the Origins of the Phrase ‘Black-on-Black Crime’ – CityLab
  14. A Nation of Snowflakes – The Atlantic
    “The greatest threats to free speech in America come from the state, not from activists on college campuses.”
  15. University of Wisconsin approves protest punishment policy
    “Other Democratic opponents charge that the policy doesn’t clearly define what type of conduct is considered disruptive. ‘Who’s going to show up to a protest if they think they could be potentially expelled?'”
  16. Take a look at this rather lurid 1959 magazine illustration by Mort Kunstler. Then read this post to be told something incredibly cool about the illustration. My jaw literally dropped.
  17. Study: anti-black hiring discrimination is as prevalent today as it was in 1989 – Vox
  18. As the Crow Flies – Pockets
    A lovely short comic story about a mom and her trans girl daughter.
  19. Guggenheim, Bowing to Animal-Rights Activists, Pulls Works From Show – The New York Times
    I’m not bothered that they pulled the works per se; I’m bothered that they obviously did so, not because they were persuaded that the words shouldn’t be displayed, but because of threats of violence.
  20. Only a quarter of Americans can name all three branches of government.
    Furthermore, “Nearly a third of Americans cannot name any of the three branches of government, according to the survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania.” This is appalling in any case, but I wonder if part of the issue may be that people don’t know what the phrase “branch of government” means. (This poll is about a year old, btw.)
  21. Ender’s Game Is About Forgiving Hitler.
  22. Right-Wingers Are Claiming This Asian-American Doctor Who Took A Knee Is Too Privileged To Speak Out
  23. The Word History of Latinx | Merriam-Webster
  24. Seattle teen calls out her dad’s Native American art. He learns she’s right | KUOW News and Information
  25. A massive new study reviews the evidence on whether campaigning works. The answer’s bleak. – Vox
    With only a couple of fairly narrow exceptions, voters in a general election vote based on partisanship, and are not persuadable.

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13 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, About To Leave England Edition

  1. 1
    damigiana says:

    Thanks for finding the time to collect the links! Enjoy your trip.

    You make me feel so lucky living in Europe right now – even with Brexit and Cataluña and AfD and all the other problems, we can just hop on a (cheap) plane and visit all these wonderful cities. I should do it more often.

  2. 2
    hf says:

    “Ender’s Game” is a probably-deliberate portrayal of a world misruled by narrow Artificial Intelligence. If you don’t see why Card would write a book about that, see Slate Star Codex on Communism, computers, and linear programming.

    Card’s character Graff accomplishes feats of prediction he should be flatly incapable of, given how incompetent he appears whenever we see him act. The explanation the book offers for this discrepancy is that Graff gets advice from the Mind Game, a computer program which can manipulate Ender by grabbing images of his family (entirely on its own authority) and showing him an odd tableau involving his sister.

    There’s a scene where Graff sees the computer’s recommended schedule of battles for Ender. By this point he’s already decided to make Ender kill another kid – I infer this was the answer he got when he asked the computer a completely different question, and Graff doesn’t understand that the two need not be compatible. He actually pauses for a second and wonders if Ender will be rendered useless to them after this one-two punch. Then he does it anyway. Result: Ender is temporarily rendered useless to them, until Graff brings his sister Valentine to make him go back to fighting.

  3. 3
    Seriously? says:

    Ampersand, the story about the printing limitation sounds nice, but is at best misguided, and at worse deliberately deceptive. There is no way that anyone achieved, with the described technology, that quality. It’s nice to believe in human ingenuity, but anyone familiar with the technological process, the task is nearly impossible, involving pretty serious math to begin with, and unlikely precision in dye composition.

    I’ll bet serious cash the image in the article is NOT from a magazine published in the 50s.

  4. 4
    Mookie says:

    Seriously?, did you read the post Amp linked to? Your skepticism is addressed across several comments.

    A better example of the Comrade Zoltan illustration can be found here, along with other examples (2nd image, last image) of the same “trick” (double-page with full or nearly full color on one and duotone on the other). As the link confirms, this was a common enough technique, though often jarring and by no means as subtle as the original linked image suggests. There are a few examples here from James Bama*. Light sources were a common means of explaining the contrast, as in the original image, but not always.

    *Künstler modeled for Bama, funnily enough (he’s the one shooting)

  5. 5
    Sebastian H says:

    I sort of feel like the Ender’s Game commentor doesn’t realize that Card is Mormon or doesn’t understand the importance of it.

    Why invoke eugenics, at best a pseudo-science and at worst an excuse for controlling one’s “inferiors?” Why is it so important that Ender be a Third, to the point that Card gives the word a capital T? And why, oh why, the unnecessary and offensive hints at incest with his sister, the only member of the family that Ender is close to?

    Well, because the whole question of family bloodlines is super important to Mormons. Because the Chinese ‘one child’ policy was prominent at the time of writing (it became big news in 1979). And I’m not seeing the incest angle between Valentine and Ender at all. They are definitely wounded people who lean on each other, but I didn’t see that as having a sexual subtext.

    And once you bring in Speaker for the Dead, the idea that Card is pro-genocide is hard to support. The whole point of the cycle is that humans keep thinking that they have these unreconcilable relations with aliens that it turns out they don’t actually have to kill. Once you remember that Mormons were hunted down and killed in very recent memory and only survived by escaping to far away states, the whole thing becomes clearer–different doesn’t equal enemy. Difficult to understand doesn’t equal impossible to get along with.

    If you want to equate it to politics you don’t like you would be on much firmer ground seeing it as infused with a strong libertarian influence but colored in a Mormon direction (so it won’t go full rugged individual). It has a strong brush of “governments destroy the things they try to rule”.

  6. 6
    Seriously? says:

    Seriously?, did you read the post Amp linked to? Your skepticism is addressed across several comments.

    I had read the story, I did not read the comments. I am not surprised that other people got suspicious, as well. By the way, the skepticism is not addressed, it is confirmed.

    This technology was still in widespread use in Eastern Europe until the late 80s, and I bet is still in use in some places. Plenty of people will be familiar with it, and with what can be achieved in the real world.

    I am not denying that the artists had great skill and imagination. I just do not think that the author should have used an image that is probably from the original work by the artist, and not from the publication. At the time I read the story, it was implied the image was of the final product.

  7. 7
    Kate says:

    Once you remember that Mormons were hunted down and killed in very recent memory and only survived by escaping to far away states, the whole thing becomes clearer–different doesn’t equal enemy.

    This is the way I read it originally. I also don’t see implied incest in the relationship between Ender and Valentine.
    However, the numerical coincidences he points out between Ender and Hitler are a bit freaky -especially since the far right often places a lot of emphasis on things like that.

  8. 8
    Mandolin says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve always been somewhat dubious about this claim re: osc. I mean, if it were proven, I wouldn’t be totally shocked, but It would be one of those demotivating disappointing surprises.

  9. 9
    Jeff says:

    Hope you’re enjoying your trip!

    On 2, I not only agree, I go a little further; In cases where private conversations are revealed, and those revelations have public impact…. We can’t put the genie back into the bottle. That’s why in the cases like the Vice reporter, or Donald Sterling, or the DNC Emails, we can be morally opposed to the illegal/immoral/unethical aspect of the way the information was disseminated, we can hope that the people who disseminated that information be held to account, but we can’t pretend that we don’t know what we know. The Vox reporter might never have allowed whatever bias he had to creep noticeably into his work, that Email might have been a moment of weakness in an otherwise virtuous lifestyle, but it’s out there, and his progressive cred is shot.

    It’s something of a catch 22, because these leaks often have exactly the outcome the person leaking them wanted…. But that seems unavoidable. So maybe the lesson is that it’s 2017… And cyber security is important.

  10. 10
    Harlequin says:

    I think I’m more persuaded by the essay the author links to about creating the innocent killer than I am about the Hitler connection. Though, like Mandolin, I wouldn’t be astonished to learn the Hitler connection was deliberate, either; I just think it’s less likely than not.

    I do read Ender and Valentine’s relationship as incestuous, though not necessarily sexual. They treat each other in a way I associate more with romantic partners than siblings. That said, I tend to find a lot of the sexuality in OSC’s books to be rather odd (particularly the Homecoming books, but really all of them), so maybe there’s just a disconnect between my brain and his in how relationships work.

  11. 11
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    I thought the situation in Ender was that the adults conned him into genociding the aliens so that the adults would feel as though it wasn’t their fault. No?

  12. 12
    hf says:

    I thought the situation in Ender was that the adults conned him into genociding the aliens so that the adults would feel as though it wasn’t their fault. No?

    Yes, and since they were able to fool him and predict that they’d done so with near-certainty, they shouldn’t have needed Ender. Except that they’d forgotten how to use personal judgment. Like I said, this is a picture of a world mis-ruled by narrow AI.

    The people who were ultimately in charge didn’t necessarily know Ender would commit genocide, though they seemed happy after the fact. They didn’t need to know what would happen, because they largely handed over judgment to the Mind Game program.

  13. 13
    RonF says:

    Well, this being an open thread, I believe this is the place I can introduce a topic.

    Commenting from me will be light for an indefinite period, but I can’t let this pass. The BSA will admit girls to the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs.

    This link and this link will give you more information. I can sum it up.

    Starting in the fall of 2018, sponsors of Cub Scout Packs will have the option of establishing all-girl Dens. Starting in the fall of 2019, sponsors of Boy Scout Troops will have the option of establishing all-girl Troops. The Cub Scouts will use the same program for boys and girls. The program details for the Troops have not yet been fully worked out but will be as close as possible to the program that is provided for the boys. Advancement will be the same, all the way from Bobcat to Webelos (Cub Scouts) and from Scout to Eagle (Boy Scouts).

    For those of you that unlike me have not spent 12 years of your youth and 25 years of your adult life in Scouting, here’s some salient details. Cub Scout Packs are organized into Dens. Dens are groups of Cub Scouts all in the same grade (4 to 8 Cubs is the recommended size) from 1st Grade through about 1/2 way through 5th Grade. Dens are where all the work on rank advancement goes on, one rank per year and everyone pretty much gets their rank at the same time. They meet anywhere from 2 to 4 times a month, either at the school, church or at the Den Leader’s house, the Den Leader generally being a parent of one of the Den’s members. The Pack is essentially an umbrella group for the Dens. They meet once a month. The Cubs show off what they’ve done in the Den meetings, maybe do a song or a skit, patches are handed out and this is where campouts and field trips are planned and run. Everything is run by the adults.

    Boy Scout Troops cover generally from the middle of 5th Grade through High School. They are organized into Patrols. The Patrols are generally (but are not required to be) organized by age. They are led by a Patrol Leader, which is one of their members who is elected by those members. The Troop as a whole elects a Senior Patrol Leader. The Troop as a whole meets once a week and a good Troop will have 8 – 10 weekend campouts plus a week of summer camp every year. The PL’s and SPL get together once a month to plan the Troop’s program, and they run the meetings, not the adults (if the Troop is being run correctly). Advancement work happens at Troop meetings and at campouts – you cannot advance without going on campouts. All the Scouts in a Patrol tend to advance through the first 4 ranks (Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class) at similar rates, but unlike Cub Scouts advancement does NOT happen in lockstep, especially as the Scouts work on the higher ranks (Star, Life and Eagle). There’s much more emphasis on individual initiative for the higher ranks. Patrols can have separate meetings and campouts from Troop meetings and campouts if they wish.

    So, what do I think of this? I think it’s fine, as long as a) nobody goes to court and tries to force sponsors to make their units co-ed, and b) the rank requirements are the same within physical limitations. I know that there are girls out there who have no intention of joining the GSUSA (or joined for a year or two and then quit) who would love to do the BSA program, so for the GSUSA to complain is just too bad for them. They can change their program anytime they want, but haven’t. Right now the BSA is far more diverse than the GSUSA is, and this change will make that difference even broader. If a local group wants to start up a all-girl Troop and needs some help in starting up I’ll be glad to lend a hand. I think this program will be of great benefit to them, to their daughters and to the country as a whole. Will this cause some people to leave Scouting? Probably. I’ll be sad to see them go.

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