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June 21, 2003
Brown love(?) & marriage
Article on changes to the practice of arranged marriage among young BOSCOs .
Read Zack Ajmal's blog on this topic a few weeks back for background.
 BOSCO = Briton of Subcontinental Origin.
Ikram Saeed links to a Queer Muslim conference. Yeah.
The article Ikram linked to had this image as an advert on the left bar:
I just wanted to pass along the blasphemy to any orthodox Muslims reading this site....
Also, Ikram highlights this woman:
Oh, she was shocked, was she?!?! Personally, this woman seems like a crack-addicted twit, but who am I to pass judgement on other people's mental illnesses? God-speed & all that, she'll need it.
Update from Jason M: On a related note, check out this article from the latest Reason about how our MTV brand of music-video sexiness is slipping into the popular culture in many Muslim nations. Go here and watch Indonesian super-diva Inul shake that fat ass for Secular Democracy!
June 20, 2003
Jason S. comments
According to Snyder's theory:
In other words, autism as hyper-concrete thinking.
On the other hand according to the better known theory popularised by Baron-Cohen:
Now, these two explanations aren't necessarily mutually exclusive because these two conditions aren't mutually exclusive up to some limit. But in the case of the autistic condition we are talking about particular traits being exhibited to an extreme degree - so which is it? Isn't an extreme deficiency in being able to think at some higher order gestalt level (and to only be able to focus at the level of concrete details) which Snyder proposes as the defining characteristic of autism somewhat at odds with the obsessive interest in systematising about 'things' which Baron-Cohen's theory proposes as the defining characteristic of autism? Given this tension, Snyder's theory seems to be a safer bet as an explanation because
Now, the idea that Einstein and Newton, two supreme generalisers who contributed to science because they looked beyond disconnected concrete details, were autistic, seems completely absurd to me. Also note the way they attempt to 'explain away' contradictions:
Karl Popper, call your office!
Perhaps Baron-Cohen's E-S (empathising-systematising) spectrum is picking up something that can be manifested at an extreme level and then gets diagnosed as a pathology. But it would seem to be a different kind of pathology from autism. In which case, is the Asperger's scare in Silicon Valley also a result of this misdiagnosis, perhaps a consequence of 'empathising' psychologists who think that people who don't share their interests are mad?
June 19, 2003
Al Qaeda in Columbus
Day 3 in Columbus and the locals news is exploding with stuff about the trucker that was an Al Qaeda mole. This sort of thing is a scary development for American Muslims and brown skinned people in general....
On a different note, did you know that Columbus was Ohio's biggest city!
June 18, 2003
Y chromosomal weirdness
The Y chromosome has some interesting tricks up its sleeve to not get turned into a totally mutated wack.
The MIT OCW "Course 7.03: Genetics" from MIT Professors Chris Kaiser and David Page features 36 Lecture notes addressing the structure and function of genes, chromosomes, and genomes. Also offered: "The 7.03 Bible," a set of detailed study guides, problem sets, and exams from 1993 through 2001.
June 17, 2003
White boys only please
Clothing Chain Accused of Discrimination. So it seems Abercrombie & Fitch, the clothing brand that appeals to annoying frat boys, hires people that can relate to such individuals. What a surprise! Yeah, I'm sure it's discrimination under the law, but check this out:
Go shop at Banana Republic then!
Hmmmm. This might be one of those situations where there really *is* discrimination going on, of the invidious kind.
It's one thing to deny people jobs on the basis of their lack of competence (e.g. in science, writing, etc.), but another to do so on the basis of their skin tone. Are the applicants really that much worse at sales?
Some might contend that Abercrombie has a legitimate business interest in promoting the white aesthetic, even if the minority applicants *are* just as competent at sales. But if that's legitimate then I think that (say) a boycott by minorities and sympathetic whites would be a perfectly legitimate capitalist response. Abercrombie would have to weigh the costs and benefits and respond appropriately. Right?
In this case I think they'll respond to consumer pressure and refrain from locking non-whites out of sales positions. If they could make more money by keeping whites-only in sales, they could do that too, but I think that's unlikely b/c it's bad publicity and they'll lose customers.
Larry Auster over at View From the Right challenges secular white racialists, can the race survive without Christianity? Being neither white, nor a racialist, and never having a direct connection with the Christian faith, I'm really not invested in this argument, but I will admit that I view the Christian racialists with the same amusement and skepticism that Bismarck felt toward Christian socialism. I suspect some GNXPers might have an interest in this debate....
Linus Pauling's Notebooks
Imbler State University has onlined the Linus Pauling Papers, including scanning and indexing forty-six research notebooks spanning the years 1922 to 1994 : "The notebooks contain many of Pauling's laboratory calculations and experimental data, as well as scientific conclusions, ideas for further research and numerous autobiographical musings." Interesting stuff; see esp. books 1-13 containg his notes re: crystal structure; "[T]his work informed Pauling's eventual publication of The Nature of the Chemical Bond, one of the seminal texts of modern science."
June 16, 2003
Are you black enough in Brazil?
This article on affirmative action in Brazil is interesting. Here is the conclusion:
Brazil seems the classic case study in how cultural norms influence how genes assort themselves in a mixed population. Since most of the population is part black by ancestrty they are looking for phenotype, so if they want to get practical and cut out cheaters they need a system of auditors like the old South Africa had to verify racial identity. Perhaps this system will impose a high enough cost on "whiteness" that "good features" will be redefined in Brazilian society.
I'll be there for a week starting tomorrow. Anything going on there???
June 15, 2003
This article on "urban nomads," wandering youth that have dropped out of society, is pretty interesting. My small town in Imbler seems to have a lot of these kids (and older types too) hanging around the main drag doing the Portland-San Francisco circuit (we're about equidistant along the I-5 route). They're kind of irritating because they basically squat right along major sidewalks taking up a lot of space on both sides and swarm so as to almost be a physical menace. Also, some of their dogs aren't cute little things, but rather large strong-jawed creatures that glower at you as if they want to take a bite out of your shank. Additionally, they don't always stay satisfied with one dog but seem to accumulate packs. Anyway, I'm libertarian enough not to want the police to round them up (after all, where will that sort of thing stop?), but they can be a pain-in-the-ass sometimes, though that's probably their raison d'ętre.