Sunday, 24 January 2016

Some more good stuff for your reading lists


Bradford West Labour Party - more fun for the politics watcher

"We would respectfully ask, out of courtesy, for a full explanation of the NECs decision to impose candidates in our constituency along with an explanation of the specific allegations without having to read in the press first.

"We are deeply concerned that the voice of our membership is being silenced and to this end we would ask the decision to impose candidates in Bradford West is overturned.

"We would welcome an urgent meeting with representatives of the NEC to further explain our concerns on behalf of our constituents."

Simple-minded lefties

Writing in the journal Political Psychology, a team of researchers led by the University of Montana psychologist Lucian Gideon Conway III reports the results of four studies that together call "into question the typical interpretation that conservatives are less complex than liberals." It turns out that liberals and conservatives are both simple-minded, depending on the topic under discussion.

Are the Koch brothers really right-wing?

How, then, are the Kochs members of the radical Right? They are pro-gay marriage. They favor liberal immigration policies. They are passionate non-interventionists when it comes to foreign policy. They are against the drug war and are spending a bundle on dismantling so-called “mass-incarceration” policies. They’ve never seized a national park at gunpoint.

Is rhino farming the answer to poaching?

The push to lift the ban on selling rhino horn came from game breeders, John Hume and Johan Kruger, who claim that legalising the trade within the country will reduce rhino deaths - rhino horn is similar to our fingernails, and can actually be harvested without harming the animal. Hume also argued that if the ban on rhino trade continued, he'd no longer be able to afford to keep his 1,200 farmed rhinos.

Don Boudreaux respectfully takes Stephen Hawkings down several pegs

"The above, Prof. Hawking, is, as you know, what people who know nothing of physics often sound like when they rely upon popular myths and personal intuition to make sense of physical reality. And it’s pretty much what you, a brilliant physicist who knows nothing of economics, sound like when you rely upon popular myths and personal intuition to make sense of economic reality."

The dark side of the liberal, progressive left

"Scopes was charged for teaching from a textbook called A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems, published in 1914. The book taught Darwin’s doctrine as fact, but it didn’t leave his conclusions there. The author, George William Hunter, not only asserted the biological difference of races, he insisted on the vital importance of what he called “the science of being well born”—eugenics. Like most progressives of the time, Hunter believed in “the improvement of man” via scientific methods. That meant promoting personal hygiene, proper diet, and reproductive control. A Civic Biology also has suggestions for what to do with “bad-gened” people, in a section called “The Remedy.” “If such people were lower animals,” the books says, “we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity would not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe.”

Tyler Cowen guessing at when we'll have driverless cars

Singapore will have driverless or near driverless neighborhoods in less than five years. But it will look more like mass transit than many aficionados are expecting.

...neoliberal orgasms - why capitalists have the best sex (or something)

Positioned as the ‘peak’ of sexual experience, orgasm is packed with sociocultural meaning. Exploring the construction of orgasm in Cosmopolitan magazine in the context of the shift towards a postfeminist sexuality and the neoliberal shift towards the rational management of sex as work, this article argues that magazines offer a ‘pedagogy of the body'...

Read responsibly.


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