Links That Will Make Me Fail My Exams

Echidne writes about the link between homophobia and sexism, offering enlightening ideas about how the same sort of thinking that leads people to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality also leads them to recognize that women are not inferior to men. I’d like to suggest one more thread in addition to what she says: patriarchal structures are typically archetypal – i.e. they tend to promote the idea of marriage in which the male dominates the female. Anything that goes against that archetype, including same-sex relationships, is verboten (but note that homosexual acts in sexually repressed, gender segregated environments draw less scorn).

What motivates her to write about that is a story about a proposed law in Nigeria that would ban not only SSM but also any form of homosexual association, up to and including dating. This is over and above the fact that gay sex is already illegal in Nigeria.

Ann reports positive news about flex-time, which offers parents options to reduce or shift their working hours in such a way that they can spend time with their children without losing their jobs. Although this is most clearly targeted at working moms who wish to pursue a work-family balance, the experience of Best Buy, where this policy also resulted in a reduction in sexist prejudice, suggests that even working moms who have no intention of taking advantage of this policy will benefit. This is set against the background of the accounting firm Ernst and Young officially adopting flex-time as a way of increasing employees’ quality of life.

Amanda notes that in the last 13 years, the US has seen some reduction in the level of domestic violence against women but an even greater one in the level of domestic violence against men. That fact doesn’t deter anti-feminist groups from complaining that legislation about violence against women discriminates against men.

A new scandal of even greater proportions than Hwang Woo-suk’s fraudulent research has people wondering if it’s an inherent misfeature of scientific practices. Noting that “top journals want ‘sexy, if risky, science’ over ‘boring but solid science,” Shelley asks the inevitable question: is it coincidence or bias that two fraudulent researches have been exposed over a relatively short period of time?

Jill, a fellow postgraduate student who’s about to flunk out because she’s blogging too much, has a piece about the class implications of skyrocketing tuition. She explains,

I’m at NYU Law because I didn’t have any educational debt after getting my BA. I wouldn’t have considered it if law school was going to put me close to half a million dollars in the hole. But the $200,000 is worth it to go to a school that is nearly guaranteed to secure me a job after I graduate, and that offers loan forgiveness programs if I decide to pursue a public interest career. The pay-off is just about guaranteed.

She doesn’t go right out and say that the government should foot the bill for education, but that’s the only reasonable conclusion. It’s less reasonable when it comes to private schools, but using Berkeley and Ann Arbor and City College as starting points, it’s not especially hard to design elite public schools that don’t cost a dime. Columbia and NYU might be able to get away with exorbitant tuition until City College’s lack of tuition will allow it to regain its earlier elite status, but Stanford won’t, and if the relevant state governments also invest in local Berkeleys, neither will Harvard and Yale.

Gordo’s latest world news roundup has a disturbing piece about climate change, which suggests that,

[Link] A team of scientists from the United States and Canada has found new evidence about the rapid melting of ice in the Arctic.

Data presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union suggests all year-round ice could disappear by the year 2040.

The scientists also believe recent research shows a tipping point which would trigger a rapid melting is fast approaching.

This is depressing, not least because it might make The Day After Tomorrow, a cheesy piece of crap if there ever was one, socially relevant in the not so far future, whereas I’d like it to be thrown into a memory hole.

6 Responses to Links That Will Make Me Fail My Exams

  1. SLC says:

    As I stated on a previous thread, when I was a freshman at Berkeley more years ago then I like to contemplate, the charge was $50/semester, regardless of the number of credit hours. The thinking has changed since then, with the new paradihm being that charging such a nominal amount leads a student to the conclusion that education is of very little value. Thus increase the charge and make it dependent on the number of credit hours in order that the students will place a higher value on their education. This was the thinking of my PhD thesis advisor (not at Berkeley), who was also an ultraconservative and old earth creationist (it’s pretty difficult for an elementary particle physicist to be a young earth creationist!).

  2. SLC says:

    Mr. Levy links to the website mercatornet for an article on scienfific fraud. Investigation of this website indicates that it is a religious conservative site. For instance, there are articles claiming that gay marriage is disadvanteous to children and the pervayers of the site also oppose embrionic stem cell research. There attack on the journals Nature and Science is fueled not by the instance of fraud committed by the Korean researcher but by their opposition to embrionic stem cell research.

  3. SLC says:

    In a previous thread started 2 or 3 weeks ago, Mr. Levy commented on an article claiming that the astroid impact off the Yucotan peninsula did not cause the extinction of the dinosaurs. I commented at the time that caution should be exercised as this finding was in an as yet unreviewed paper which had not yet been published but had been presented at a conference. Well, my statement that caution should be exercised has now been vindicated by the findings of a researcher named MacCloud at the Un. of Missouri. One can listen to an interview with Prof. MacCloud at the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast.

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  4. Bushbaptist says:

    The spinners are already spinning the Arctic Ocean melt-down. They are saying that it will improve trade by opening new trade routes. The glaciers on Antarctica are moving at a speed never seen before too. Hence the icebergs off the south coast of NZ.

    As an aside: we can smell the smoke in the air from the Aust. forest fires here now. It is quite strong. Aust. is 2000Km away.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    SLC, if you want a less anti-science take on fraud, go to Physics Web.

  6. SLC says:

    Re fraud.

    The issue is not whether fraud occurred; there is no question that it did in the two cases cited by Prof. Goodstein on Physics Web. The issue is, to what extent should one credit a pseudoscientific web sites’ take on the matter. To pseudoscientists, all research in an area which they oppose is either fraudelent, immoral, of fattening. The mercatorweb spin on the Korean stem cell fraud was that, see, stem cell research is bad because this crook in South Korea drylabbed his experiments. What the ass***** on mercatorweb don’t bother to point out is that other pro stem cell researchers uncovered the fraud and exposed it, not the critics. This is, of course, just what happened with the Piltdown man hoax, exposed by palentologists, not creationists.

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