Friday, July 12, 2013

The absurdity of academic culture and positive, optimistic, liberalism.
Crooked Timber on sex, gender roles and morality.

Perceived looks matter more than sports accomplishments, naturally
"Ezster says she was fascinated by “how many people decided to make such hateful and stupid comments.” But how many were there– 500? 1000? As a proportion of Twitter users, or even Twitter users who watched Wimbledon it has to be minuscule." 
Eszter Hargittai: "500 such comments on Twitter is already 500 too many"
Her link included various tweets by 14 people.

The Twitter Geography of Hate

The data behind this map is based on every geocoded tweet in the United States from June 2012 - April 2013 containing one of the 'hate words'. This equated to over 150,000 tweets and was drawn from the DOLLY project based at the University of Kentucky. Because algorithmic sentiment analysis would automatically classify any tweet containing 'hate words' as "negative," this project relied upon the HSU students to read the entirety of tweet and classify it as positive, neutral or negative based on a predefined rubric. Only those tweets that were identified by human readers as negative were used in this analysis.
The study didn't include anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim terms.

Other comments at CT
 "I will shame-facedly admit that my interest in women’s tennis is about 2/3 prurient, but it would never occur to me even to think, let alone say, such ugly things just because the Wimbeldon winner doesn’t excite me."

"It is disgusting. But not isolated to sports. Quite frankly, I’m sick of stories about Hillary’s hair, …"

"I read about stuff like this all the time on P.Z. Myers’s “Pharyngula” blog, as well as the several feminist and rad-fem sites I keep up with. But it still hits me like a fist in the gut."
That last one brought back memories. "Blam!! Out of nowhere, it's like a sock to the stomach"

The Guardian
In fact, far from being more faithful than men, we may actually be more naturally promiscuous – more bored by habituation, more voracious, more predatory, more likely to objectify a mate.
"Not the meaning of sex or the idea of sex, but sex!"

And of course being decent civilized European liberals they're not very interest in freedom of speech.

Another geography of hate, that none of them will mention.

It's not that they've failed my purity test but that they assume they've passed their own. They're absolutely incapable of second-order curiosity. The earnest enthusiasm of high-functioning autism. And they want to rule the world.

More of the same, here.  Reading fiction to reinforce previous assumptions.
"My impression is that many people read fiction as an escape from their day-to-day. I am not those people. I like to have enough of a non-fictional toehold on a story to be able to judge its verisimilitude. I don’t want to be the reader analog to the millions of people under the impression that the legal system is in any way similar to Law & Order or CSI."
Jack Webb
The themes of detective fiction revolve around the ambiguities of moral responsibility as they're experienced by individual characters. The most famous exception, more than proving the rule, was Jack Webb's Dragnet: theater written for Sparta, or fascist Spain. Detective fiction is foundational literature, the only form of pulp fiction that's ever transcended the form.

The characters in stories and the facts around them are fictional; the questions are not. In any literature worth taking seriously the plot is the armature, the means, not the end. Descriptions of our common world in the words of another with a different focus pull you away from things you know, but you have to choose to be pulled, or to make it possible.  The neoliberal imagination doesn't allow the choice.

People who read non-fiction for content read fiction for content and plot. To read for subtext in works you enjoy without mockery is to acknowledge the inevitable subtexts in your own speech.

Read the post at Savage Minds as an immature attempt (see also Graham Harman) to come to terms with art on its own terms. The result is a defense less of art than illustration, where theory precedes practice. In art, practice precedes theory.
Repeats of repeats,  Dwight Macdonald.
So, too, our Collegiate Gothic, which may be seen in its most resolutely picturesque (and expensive) phase at Yale, is more relentlessly Gothic than Chartres, whose builders didn't even know they were Gothic and missed so many chances for quaint effect.
"Collegiate Gothic" is illustration. [specifically here]
Serendipity, courtesy of God and As'ad AbuKhalil
A stunning tweet just came across the wires from Major League Baseball’s recently hired “new media coordinator” Jonathan Mael. It reads, “The @nyjets are a disgrace of an organization. The Patriots have Aaron Hernandez, the Jets have Oday Aboushi.” (Mael has since deleted his account, making him a rather ineffectual “new media coordinator”.) 
Aaron Hernandez is, of course, the former star tight end now on trial for premeditated murder. So who is Oday Aboushi? He’s a Brooklyn-born fifth-round rookie lineman from the University of Virginia. His crime, in the eyes of Mael, is being of Palestinian heritage as well as having the temerity to discuss what a life of dispossession has meant to him and his extended family. 
This ugly line of thought exists on a plane beyond tweets. In a stunningly unprincipled piece on Yahoo! Sports, a writer named Adam Waksman wrote this week that Aboushi was involved in “anti-Semitic activism...”
 Zionism is racism, Eszter.

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