Monday, August 14, 2017

Bubonic Plague fleas found in Arizona.

I know that as a Straight White Male I'm not allowed to talk about illegal immigration. Tough shit, I'm going to anyway.

One of the most important reasons for having borders and immigration controls in place is to prevent the spread of contagious disease. Back in the old days, if you caught tuberculosis or something like bubonic plague, you died. So countries like Canada and the USA made a very large and very expensive effort to keep people with those diseases out of the country by screening all prospective immigrants.

When you have people sneaking into the country, those screens are obviously not done. Diseases spread, and people die.

Enter the humble flea. One of the things fleas do is jump from rodents to people. Another thing they do is carry the Bubonic Plague bacteria. They can live for a long time after being infected, and their bite transmits the disease.

One of the things that happens to people when they sleep outside is they can get fleas. You lie down a few feet from a hidden mouse nest or prairie dog hole, you get fleas on you.

In a situation where hundreds or even thousands of people are moving through the desert from Mexico, some of them are going to get flea bites.

So what? So fleas carrying the Bubonic Plague have been found in Arizona.

Health officials are urging people to take precautions after a second Arizona county in two weeks confirmed that fleas in the area have tested positive for plague.

The announcement by Navajo County Public Health officials on Friday comes one week after Coconino County officials found prairie dogs in the area to be carrying fleas with the plague -- the infectious disease infamous for killing millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages.

The fleas in Navajo County were found near the town of Taylor.

Health officials have notified the residents whose property will be treated. The area will be closely monitored to determine if further action is required.

People are advised to take certain measures to reduce the risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed on these animals.

The disease can be transmitted to humans and other animals by the bite of an infected flea or by direct contact with an infected animal.

It is not unlikely that a migrant or two may end up catching the plague, if the fleas are having a good year and spreading widely. Bugs do that. Some years their numbers increase.

Why do we care? Because this is the Plague we're talking about here. This shit is fatal if untreated and as contagious as the common cold. Picture if you will an overcrowded holding facility full of men, women and little kids, all happily swapping germs in the not-very-sanitary government facility, then being put on trains and buses and airplanes for delivery to small towns all over America.

If you wanted to kill a whole lot of people by disease, that would be the best possible way to do it. That's the current US Immigration system. The one that Trump is a Nazi for trying to change.

The Phantom

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Why do women bully each other at work?

The Atlantic, oddly, has an interesting article about workplace bullying. By women, to women. It begins thus:

The bitches, as Shannon saw it, came in three varieties. She categorized them on her personal blog, in a post titled "Beware the Female BigLaw Partner."

First was the "aggressive bitch"—a certain kind of high-ranking woman at the firm where she worked who didn't think twice about "verbally assaulting anyone." When one such partner's name appeared on caller ID, Shannon told me, "we would just freak out."

Next was the two-faced "passive-aggressive bitch," whose "subtle, semi-rude emails" hinted that "you really shouldn't leave before 6:30." She was arguably worse than the aggressive bitch, because you might never know where you stand.

Last but not least, the "tuned-out, indifferent bitch," Shannon wrote, "is so busy, both with work and family, that they don't have time for anything … This partner is not trying to be mean, but hey, they got assignments at midnight when they were associates. So you will too.

Its a fairly long article. The take-home is:

A) Don't work for a woman if you can avoid it, and
B) When women are horrible, and they are, it is MEN who are at fault.

Of course, right? It's The Atlantic. The author had to stick it to the men, otherwise her piece wouldn't have been published.

Spectacularly absent is any mention of the quaint notion that people, including WOMEN, are responsible for their own behavior. When a man is horrible, it is his fault. When a woman is horrible, isn't it her fault?

Nope. Its some man somewhere, pulling her strings. She's a victim of the Patriarchy. Can't be expected to stand or fall on her own merits, the poor thing.

Only men can do stuff like that. So unfair!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Google Memo tempest in a teapot.

Seen at Small Dead Animals, I think this is the best comment yet on the Google Memo.

As a Woman in Tech, I Realized: These Are Not My People

The Google memo, saying women aren't very into engineering, reached a similar conclusion.

That's the headline. This article is hilarious. I laughed my ass off.

No, the reason I left is that I came into work one Monday morning and joined the guys at our work table, and one of them said "What did you do this weekend?"

I was in the throes of a brief, doomed romance. I had attended a concert that Saturday night. I answered the question with an account of both. The guys stared blankly. Then silence. Then one of them said: "I built a fiber-channel network in my basement," and our co-workers fell all over themselves asking him to describe every step in loving detail.

At that moment I realized that fundamentally, these are not my people. I liked the work. But I was never going to like it enough to blow a weekend doing more of it for free. Which meant that I was never going to be as good at that job as the guys around me.

That is pretty much the entire "Women In STEM" argument in a nutshell. They can do it. But they don't want to. Because it is boring and stupid.

The guys who are good at computer engineering are few and far between. They are rare. Weirdos. Nerds. The kind of dorks that see a computer and can name every chip on the motherboard, know where it came from, who made it, what it does, and a bunch of other boring shit that no sane person would ever care about. They build computers at home. For fun. They enjoy it.

Because they are weirdos.

There ARE women out there like that. I can think of two right off the top of my head, Grace Hopper and the woman that runs Adafruit. So, clearly, they exist.

But here's the other side of the argument. Out of all the women I know or have ever heard of, I can think of two that are as massive computer nerds as men. Two.

That truth puts the guys who fired this kid in a very unflattering light. Women, clearly, are different than men. The Left in general and Google in this particular case are loudly and obnoxiously claiming there is no difference, women and men are the same. Which is self evidently untrue.

Question: Why would they do that?

The Phantom

Monday, August 07, 2017

Even Atheists don't trust Atheists?

From the "Another amaaaazing study!" department, another amazing study.

A unusual social study has revealed that atheists are more easily suspected of vile deeds than Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists -- strikingly, even by fellow atheists, researchers said Monday.
This suggests that in an increasingly secular world, many -- including some atheists -- still hold the view that people will do bad things unless they fear punishment from all-seeing gods.
The results of the study "show that across the world, religious belief is intuitively viewed as a necessary safeguard against the temptations of grossly immoral conduct," an international team wrote in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.
And it revealed that "atheists are broadly perceived as potentially morally depraved and dangerous."
Myself, I would not go so far as "morally depraved and dangerous" but I might extend to "deluded and extensively disinformed try-hards."

The thing I notice most about "professional" atheists these days is that they don't dismiss God. A proper atheist is somebody for whom God is not an issue, because they don't believe in
God. The same way that ghosts are not an issue for me, because I don't believe in ghosts. If other people do, that's their problem.

Lately, atheist leaders actively and loudly DIS-believe in God. That's not the same thing at all. They -hate- God, and they want to fight you about it. They want to run around and dismantle all the churches, temples and what have you. People can't be allowed to believe in God. (Except Mooselimbs, see Dawkins.)

Its a little religion, really. The religion of "God is Bad!!!" The ultimate in Leftist retardation. Impossible even to lampoon, due to being too ridiculous already.

And they wonder why nobody likes them.

The Phantom

Update: The AFP link at the top died, here's a couple more: The Guardian, the BBC, the original article in Nature.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Professional. Cuddling. Because Trump.

Times when you wish you were kidding, and you wish it was the Onion, but it isn't. Its Rolling Stone::

The reasons one seeks out a professional cuddling experience range from average adults seeking connection, those on the autistic spectrum, those healing from sexual trauma, adults dealing with sexual dysfunction or for older virgins to practice touch in a safe environment. The elephant in the room during some of these sessions, though, is the current state of the country's affairs. Since November – and the election of Donald Trump – professional cuddling services have seen a spike in client interest.

"The holiday season was the first time that since Trump won the election that a lot of people were seeing their family," says Adam Lippin, co-founder and CEO of Cuddlist, which provides training services to professional cuddlers and allows clients to search listings of "Cuddlists" nearby. "People with different political views were going to be in the same place with relatives. That was the first hit of people having to confront it in a significant way. We saw an uptick around that."

$80 bucks an hour, each, because the DemocRats lost an election.

Its worth reading the whole thing for the inadvertent hilarity:

To be considered a certified Cuddlist, one must enroll in an online course, attend a Cuddle Party group session and pass a video or in-person evaluation.

That is some extensive professional training, right there.

The Phantom

DC comics TV show goes full retard.

You know the old saying, 'you never go full retard'...

From the article Kathy linked:

DC Comics superhero Isis will be joining DC's Legends of Tomorrow in its upcoming third season under her real name of Zari Adrianna Tomaz (played by Tala Ashe), and the fact that the character is a practicing Muslim is a choice show producer Marc Guggenheim said was made specifically in response to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

"You might have heard there was this election," said Guggenheim during this week's Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills (as quoted by Variety). "Not to get political, but something that we all gravitated toward in the writers room was making this character Muslim."

"Representation is a really powerful thing," added Ashe. "When I was growing up watching television, I didn't see anyone who looked like me. When I think of the kid version of myself, I think it broadens your perspective. What I think is so lovely about this show is that the Legends are this tapestry that represent America today."

Full disclosure, I am a recovering comic book nerd with a basement full of comic boxes. Seriously, I used to buy Marvel and DC's full output every week. For years.

I do not watch Legends of Tomorrow on TV. It is so bad that I can't, even though I really want to. The staging, the dialogue, the plot, are cringefully bad. A character says something and I wince, its so bad.

So now, these geniuses bring in a Muslim character named Isis because Trump got elected?

Isis? Really?

Even for dipshit Hollywood hipsters, this is bad.

The Phantom

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Yes, they CAN use your webcam.

Remember the good old days, when people thought you were crazy and paranoid for putting a sticker over your laptop camera or webcam when you weren't using it?

WikiLeaks released new documents on Thursday within the Vault 7 documents, which contain information on CIA's hacking tools from the Dumbo project.

"Dumbo is a capability to suspend processes utilizing webcams and corrupt any video recordings that could compromise a PAG deployment. The PAG (Physical Access Group) is a special branch within the CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence); its task is to gain and exploit physical access to target computers in CIA field operations," WikiLeaks said in a press release.

Funny how nobody thinks that anymore.

The Phantom

Morality is good when Communists do it.

Reversing the sleaze trend, the Grammys are looking to start awarding more wins to good, wholesome entertainment. Like Pat Boone.

The organiser of the music industry's annual Grammy Awards on Thursday said it would respect China's media curbs and only promote artists with a "positive and healthy" image, in its bid to break into the world's second-largest economy.

The Recording Academy, which is behind the Grammys, the industry's biggest awards show, plans to launch a tour in China in 2018 featuring award-winning artists, or nominees, performing live shows.

China has launched a campaign to cleanse the entertainment sector of content it deems inappropriate and unhealthy, a vague term the authorities also frequently use to justify censorship of politically sensitive topics.

"If there are restrictions and things in that nature, we have to be respectful," Neil Portnow, president and chief executive of the Recording Academy, told Reuters in Beijing, the capital.

Yeah, they have to "be respectful" because the Chicoms won't let them play, otherwise. What are they having to be respectful of, specifically?

Stars blocked from performing in China include Lady Gaga, Bjork and Bon Jovi, who have all met or expressed support for the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Recently a Chinese state office barred Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, citing his bad behavior and urging him to improve his conduct to become a singer "truly loved" by the public.

Don't talk about the Dali Lama, and lay off the gangsta shit. I can't really argue with the guy about Bieber or Lady Gaga, but Bon Jovi?

The thing is, here's a supposedly iconic brand in American music quite openly changing its behavior to please a totalitarian regime. Will they change their behavior because an American group objects? No. If Americans object they're SQUARES, baby, and the little twerps just do it more. Bieber, seven Grammys. Next year, live sex on the awards stage! Woohoo, stick it to the squares!

But let a Communist complain? Oh yeah, they'll get right on that.

Sadly, I cannot boycott them any harder than I already am. No TV, no radio, no Top 40s music.

The Phantom

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

When 'banned' isn't, and 'invasion' isn't either.

Once upon a time, The Phantom started getting his comments deleted on a blog. This is not surprising, I get my comments deleted all the time. Always on Lefty sites like Ms., Vile770, or The Mary Sue. They just love them some censorship, those kids.

This time it was Camestros Felpatron, mostly famous for being banned at According to Hoyt and Mad Genius Club for idiotic trolling. MGC usually lets him have a few free ones before they shut him down, but he's been sent to sit in the corner quite a few times.
Anyway, because I dared suggest the Holy Temperature Record might be a bit dodgy, good old Floppy started deleting me. Which is fine, its his blog.
Every once in a while, he posts something so egregious that I drop a comment in his spam filter, because I know he reads them. This is where 'banned' isn't really banned. Sometimes he makes blog posts out of them.

I don't blame him, really, the Leftosphere is all Trump all the time these days. There's only so many post you can make out of astrologers portending Trumpian doom before is all begins to seem a little pointless.
This brings us to the 'invasion.' It seems it has become populat in certain Lefty circles to refer to the settlement of Australia as an "Invasion." The Floppy One posted about it here.

This is the typical Leftist wordplay, when they substitute the word for "invasion" for "settlement" because it makes victims out of the Aborigines, or the Indians, or whatever group they are trying to claim victim status for.
This balderdash culminates with:
"To accept that the events 1770 and 1788 amounted to an invasion would require them to accept that modern Australia owes a debt to the people whose land was taken."

My comment, which was of course deleted because inconvenient:
“Australia owes a debt to the people whose land was taken.”
Those people died a long time ago. Nobody stole from the ones alive today.
By the way, where are my reparations for the Highland Clearances? I’m sure somebody owes me a bundle, by your reckoning.

For those not up on their history, the Highland Clearances were land seizures, where they basically took farms and kicked off the people living there. The Scottish people were dispossessed and scattered across the world.
I'm pure blood Scots on both sides of the family. I've never seen Scotland. As a mater of both moral and legal principle, nobody owes me any money for the Highland Clearances. The End. Any effort top cast -me- as a victim of that two hundred and someth9ing year ago crap would be farcical.
What happened in Australia (and Canada, New Zealand, most of the USA except the West, and other places,) wasn't a war. It was a migration. Europeans moved to North America and started farming.
Where is something like that happening right now... oh yeah. Europe! People from the Middle East are "migrating" to Europe in their millions. You don't dare call that an invasion, do you?
But now Mr. Flopatron needs something to talk about, so he uses my deleted comment to generate an entire new post:
When Conservatives Accidentally Destroy Capitalism
Wherein Mr. Floppy tries to make a case that the British Crown owes money to the Aborigines of Australia because the British Crown stole their land, which somehow destroys capitalism.

Really, it is idiotic. He's got the magic of inherited blood in there, Capitalism, inheritance taxes, some Scottish tenant farmer guy killed himself, and Conservatives are stoopid. At the end he comes out with Thomas Paine's Agrarian Justice:
Agrarian Justice essentially argued for a kind of Universal Basic Income funded by inheritance tax. The moral justification being one based on notions of property and justice.

Having not read the book I can't say for certain, but I think Mr. Paine was more concerned that people not die of starvation from the Crown selling off the common land they were grazing their sheep on. If the land is in use by the subjects of the Crown, then the Crown should bloody well look after them when the land gets sold. In Feudalism, the Crown has -responsibilities- to its subjects, right?

Essentially, "The Rich" of Britain should pay me, The Phantom Foreigner, by way of inheritance tax. Because my ancestors lost a war to the English. (It wasn't a war, but never mind.)

But then, shouldn't the French be paying for the Norman Conquest? And shouldn't the Swedes be paying for the Viking raids? Shouldn't the Spanish be paying South America and Mexico? And shouldn't the Italians be paying EVERYBODY because Rome took over the whole of Europe? (I should be getting bucks from Italy because Hadrian's Wall!!!) Japan should be forking over large for World War Two, right? That was practically last week.

Oh, and shouldn't the Russian and Chinese Communists be paying a shitlocker full of money for killing a hundred million people in the 20th Century and taking over everything behind the Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain.
Yes, they should. Or, you know, not.
Because there is a place on Earth where this kind of accounting has been taken to a high art. The Balkans. Those guys remember every goddamn sheep that was stolen for a thousand years. They've been doing war on each other off and on since Rome left. The Mooselimbs invaded at some point and got sucked into the maelstrom, as we saw from the most recent Balkan War. Ethnic cleansing from a three sided triangle of hatred that never dies.

There's another place on Earth where they keep score, the Middle East. You've got two kinds of Mooselimbs killing each other over ancestral grievances, Christians getting killed because they're those pain in the ass minority types (who were there first, but never mind) and then the Jews, of course, who are "invaders" despite having been there longer than the Xtians or the Mooselimbs. (The Jews are bad because shooting back is cheating!)

On the whole, I think keeping track of shit like the Highland Clearances and demanding restitution from the descendants of those armies is a really, really bad idea and we shouldn't do it. Otherwise we will get Syria and Sarajevo.

But practical matters aside, what this really is down to is racism. The Scots don't get reparations because we are White. We are successful.

We left the Highlands, moved to the howling wilderness of North America, and Australia, and every other Godforsaken shit hole the English could find to dump us, and now we OWN the place. Our people invented the entire Modern world. Name a modern device or product, 80% of the time it was a Scot that invented it.

What have the Mooselimbs invented lately? Suicide bombers. The Aborigines? I can't think of anything. The Indians? Nothing springs to mind.

Camestros Felpatron thinks that we, the White people, the ones who work our asses off and invent everything, make everything, do everything, should help the poor brown people because they are just helpless victims and can't make it on their own.

That is racism. They fucking well can make it on their own, and they do. All the time. The joke around here is that the richest people in Ontario live on the Indian reserve. There are at least five families there with ten-figure (billion) net worth. Oh yeah. Quite a few Lamborghinis on the Reserve these days.

Now, all of the above is based on Group Politics. The Flopatron Conjecture fails even at the group level, because Sarajevo, but where it really fails is when you cast aside these sweeping inclusions and get down to individuals.

Really, lets talk about who, in particular, should be paying me, in particular, for the Highland Clearances. Ultimately there is only one person alive today that could even remotely be considered inheritor of that action. That person is Queen Elizabeth. Did Liz order the Highland Clearance? Nope. Was it even one of her family? Nope. She's a Windsor.

Did the English crown even order the Clearances? Nope. It was economic forces.  (And, hilariously, anti-Celtic racism. Those Celts, they're LAZY y'know. Good for nothing. Not like good AngloSaxon stock.) The land owners went broke, sold out, and the newcomers changed the type of agriculture. Everybody forgets the same thing happened in England, just happened earlier.

So really, can we stick tottery, 91 year old Liz Windsor with this mess? No.

But she's rich! So lets stick her anyway. Make the rich pay. Hellz yeah.
What does the Queen owe me? I'm a Highland Scot! Family comes from the Highlands, for real. I've never seen the place of course, but my great-great-great- seven freaking generations ago Grandad had to leave the Homeland and break sod here in Canada, because of whatever nightmare was happening to him at the time. We don't even know what it was. I can't even remember his name. My mother does, if I need to know I can ask her. But I better hurry up, Mom's 90.
I have zero connection to that time, that land, those concerns. Can I legitimately demand restitution for those things that drove Great-to-the-7th Grandad to flee? No. I don't think so. If the Queen offered me some free money I wouldn't turn her down, but otherwise, I have zero claim. It wouldn't be much anyway, her whole fortune divided among every Scottish descendant nets me about a buck-fifty if I'm lucky.
Can some Indian guy here in Canada claim restitution from me for a transaction his Great-to-the-7th Grandadhad had with mine when the old Indian sold the farm to the old Highlander? Because money did change hands at the time, the deeds and papers still exist. My mother has the original deed for the family farm, duly signed off by the Indian chief of the time. Do I owe that guy money? Especially considering my Grandmother sold that farm when I was a tiny baby?

Because there are a bunch of "Indians" around here (some of them are almost as Scottish as I am) claiming exactly that. Every time they take it to court, they lose.  In 2006 they resorted to guns and burning shit down, and we had the Caledonia Unpleasantness. Eleven years later, there's still a busted hydro tower beside the road where there was supposed to be a suburban building project. Every time somebody sticks a shovel in the ground around here, the extortionists show up with a crowd and try to jack up the developers for money. Lately they aren't getting much play, since the Department of Highways evicted them from the bridge on Highway 3.
Probably they'll burn some more tires at some point, maybe torch the power station again, then more extortion money will flow for a little while.

Funny to see Australia has the same problem.

Oh, and by the way. Did the aboriginal inhabitants of these places that got 'invaded' by the horrible racist British Empire get any -benefits- from being 'invaded?' Things like the Germ Theory of Disease, or in the case of Australia, the wheel and agriculture? Indoor plumbing, and a life expectancy better than 40? Beer? Railways and steam engines? Mail? Email?

No, they still live in the Stone Age. Don't they? They don't have cars and stuff, right? Indians on the reserve still live in longhouses, right? Sure they do. I was just over there yesterday, I'm sure I saw a guy with feathers in his hair standing next to a longhouse. Oh wait, that was a cigar-store Indian standing next to an illegal cigarette shack. My mistake.

The Phantom

Scrub-update! Mr. Floppy has deleted the link to this rebuttal from his blog. Thereby showing the type of sportsmanship and fair play we have all come to expect from Puppy Kickers and Lefties in general. Classy!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Suddenly, guns are -good- at the NY Times.

Interesting what it takes for the NY Times to show guns in a good light. Black women buying guns to protect themselves.

New hotness. This is the actual picture in the Times article.

The phenomenon was explained firsthand this week in an Op-Ed for The New York Times by Antonia Okafor, a graduate student at the University of Texas, Dallas. In her piece, titled "Why I Bring My Gun To School," Okafor, who's one of the foremost and youngest Second Amendment advocates in the nation, details why she supports Texas' recent conceal carry law for college campuses and carries her Ruger LC9 pistol with her almost every where she goes. Okafor writes that when she began advocating for the passage of the conceal carry law, she was not a "gun enthusiast." But after a scare from a cyberstalker, she writes, she learned to shoot a gun and felt a new sense of empowerment.
"I felt empowered to be holding a tool that could protect me physically, and I was determined to learn how to use it responsibly. It was a relief to know that I could shoot if I had to, even though I would never use my gun unless it was a last means of self-defense. I got my concealed carry license a year ago," she writes, before going on to explain why "there is a place for young, pro-Second Amendment women in modern feminism."

This is practically a love letter from the NY Times to gun owners. Why? Because they are BLACK, WOMEN gun owners.

Up to 59 percent of African-American households now view owning a gun as a "necessity," according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center released this month, and African-American women have outpaced all other races and genders in terms of securing concealed carry permits in Texas between 2000 and 2016, according to demographic information released by the state.

See, according to the Times, for the last 40 years at least, guns are bad. They are super duper bad. White men owning guns is bad. White women owning guns is slightly less bad, but still bad. Black men owning guns, still kinda bad.

But black women owning guns? That's awesome! You go, girl!

How long before the Times goes out of business? Please let it be soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Inevitably, OJ gets let out.

People wonder why the USA is so fucked these days.

Just remember the whole OJ thing, and you'll have an example of why.

The Phantom

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Oh Noes, Dr. Who is WHITE!

Further to the trolling of Dr. Who fans by the BBC or whoever runs the show, not everyone is happy that the new Doctor Who is a woman.

SJW Anita Sarkesian for one.

Variety Magazine for another.

The last thing I wanted to write today was an angry screed about "Doctor Who." I've been watching the show loyally for four decades; I've been through every up and down and alien invasion. No matter how much it may frustrate me in a given episode or a season, I love it so much. It's about people without guns who roam around trying to do good and save people. With a screwdriver. At its best, "Doctor Who" irreverent, whip-smart and deeply humane.

So I was going to be disappointed and not a little furious if the Thirteenth Doctor was yet another white man.

For more than 50 years, every Doctor has been from that demographic, and of course, some versatile actors have done wonderful work in the role. I'd have a tough time picking my favorite: Is it Tom Baker? Peter Davison? David Tennant? Peter Capaldi? Matt Smith? Jon Pertwee?

(It's Baker. They're all fantastic, but of course, it's Baker.)

The fact is, we're living in a time in which a lot of people feel frustrated and fearful about the state of the world. Women, people of color and the LGBT community feel especially under siege. The daily headlines are like something out of a "Doctor Who" (or "Black Mirror") dystopia. 

So if women were once again going to be asked to go to the back of the line and wait their turn when it came to the idea of seeing themselves as one of the iconic interstellar heroes — well, many people would have been upset. Even some white guys. 

But no one had to wake up to that disappointment, thank Gallifrey. Coming from one of the biggest media franchises on the planet, the news that the new "Doctor Who" is female is huge — and almost completely delightful. 

Some might be disappointed that this makes for the thirteenth white Doctor in a row. I do want to see a woman of color, or a non-white man, as the Doctor, of course. Those fans are still being asked to wait, and it would be hypocritical not to note that that is still not ideal.

Yes that's right. Having been handed the exact thing they've been screeching for, on a platter, the SJWs are now complaining that Jodie Whittaker is White.

The Phantom

Monday, July 17, 2017

Dr. Who will be a woman.

Dr. Who is one of those TV shows that have been on forever, and the people who write it have been continually pushing the envelope of what is acceptable on British TV the whole time. Very, very progressive for a crappy low-budget TV show.

Now we hear that the 13th Doctor will be Jodie Whittaker. A woman.

Now, why would a successful TV show take the risk of recasting the main, signature character from male to female? Knowing that it will endlessly complicate things?

Mostly for the opportunity to tell their fans off, apparently.

Writer and avid fan Jenny Colgan - who has written several Doctor Who novels and audio dramas - said she was "absolutely delighted" that Whittaker was the new Doctor, describing her as "brilliant and bold and brave".
She said: "When I was a little girl I thought I was the only female Doctor Who fan in the world. Now Jodie Whittaker is taking it to a whole new place, and I am absolutely delighted for all of us wee Whoviennes, old and new."
Asked what she would say to anyone unhappy that the new Doctor is a woman, she said: "People are always unhappy when there's a new Doctor, that's just the way of it.
"Then new stuff happens and it's brilliant and everyone loves them and they have to leave and then everyone gets sad again.
"If you really would stop watching Doctor Who because it was a woman, I don't think you really understand the entire ethos the last 55 years of The Doctor has been about."
Twitter has been savage since the announcement, a few people saying they didn't like it and being dog-piled by feminists screeching at them to get over it.

Do I care? No. I don't watch Dr. Who, its already so unbearably preachy, this "change" won't change anything. Just more red meat for the screechers.

The Phantom

 Welcome to all you camel toes from Crapestros Flopatron's blog. Or both of you, anyway.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Purity Spiral in organizations and Hugos.

Seen today at SDA and David Thompson's blog, a piece by Uri Harris on the "purity spiral" in the social sciences.

A couple of years ago, six social scientists published a paper describing a disquieting occurrence in academic psychology: the loss of almost all its political diversity. As Jonathan Haidt, one of the authors of the paper, wrote in a commentary:

Before the 1990s, academic psychology only LEANED left. Liberals and Democrats outnumbered Conservatives and Republican by 4 to 1 or less. But as the "greatest generation" retired in the 1990s and was replaced by baby boomers, the ratio skyrocketed to something more like 12 to 1. In just 20 years. Few psychologists realize just how quickly or completely the field has become a political monoculture.

While the paper focuses on psychology, it briefly mentions that the rest of the social sciences are not far behind:

[R]ecent surveys find that 58–66 per cent of social science professors in the United States identify as liberals, while only 5–8 per cent identify as conservatives, and that self-identified Democrats outnumber Republicans by ratios of at least 8 to 1 (Gross & Simmons 2007; Klein & Stern 2009; Rothman & Lichter 2008).

As these studies are now approximately ten years old, it's quite plausible that the gap has widened further over the past decade (as it has in psychology) meaning that these figures most likely underestimate the current left-to-right ratio across the social sciences.

But wait, there's more.

In fact, Haidt recently reported on a remarkable survey that was conducted among the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, which, as Haidt notes, is:

… a professional society composed of the most active researchers in the field who are at least five years post-PhD. It's very selective—you must be nominated by a current member and approved by a committee before you can join.

As part of the survey, members were asked to identify their political affiliation on an eleven-point scale, from 'very liberal' to 'very conservative'. (One point in the centre and five on each side.) The results are telling. Only 2.5 per cent of respondents chose a conservative point, and only 8.3 per cent chose the centre-point, meaning that 89.3 per cent identified as left-of-centre.

Social psychologists' self-ratings of their political orientation. Taken from Bill von Hippel and David Buss's survey of the membership of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, 2016.

Intriguingly, the least popular point among the left-of-centre points was the most moderate one (5.8 per cent), and the second-least popular was the second-most moderate one (15.6 per cent). More than two thirds (67.8 per cent) chose one of the three points furthest to the left on an eleven-point scale, and more than a third (38 per cent) chose one of the two points furthest to the left. And 16 per cent chose the furthest possible point to the left on an eleven-point scale.

This means that there were almost as many people who chose the furthest possible point to the left as there were who chose all the conservative points, the centre-point and the most moderate left-of-centre point combined (16.6 per cent).

Now, this all comes as no surprise to anyone who's gone to university in the last 25 years, or was in any way paying attention. The state of affairs is as Harris says, there's no doubt. The problems inherent in a monoculture of one politicaly acceptable view are manifold, and obvious.

What's interesting is how they got there. The author suggests a "purity spiral" of unguided selection, rather than some kind of deliberate program.

It seems likely to me that there are self-reinforcing mechanisms at work. As the ratio of liberals to conservatives increased, a tipping-point was reached where conservatives were actively excluded from the social sciences, and as they have disappeared the more radical liberals are now outnumbering the moderates to the point where they too are being gradually excluded. In other words, it appears that social science is undergoing a purity spiral towards an increasingly radical left-wing ideology.

This seems a likely mechanism to explain the Hugo awards, the SFF. Liberals in the universities join literary clubs like WorldCon and go to work for the major publishers, -all- of whom are based in New York City.

Liberalism is the culture of the New York City intellectual elite, among whom are counted publishers, editors, etc. As the years wear on and more old guys retire, the people who replace them are very keen to show they are serious and On The Right Side. Zero new Conservatives are hired, of course, because Conservatives are yucky. Who wants one of Them around? As Harris says, you keep that kind of osmotic pressure going for 40 years, you end up with the present situation. No Conservatives working in publishing, no Conservatives joining the literature clubs, no conservatives voting for awards.

As well, advancement depends on looking like a Team Player. So, everybody crowds Left and virtue signals all over the place. "Advancement" in a club setting is different, but similar. In a club it is all about the signalling and fitting in, as there is not any "work" to be accomplished.

You can see the machinery working in the Hugo nominations of the last 40 years. A gradual increase in "literary" SF, the kind of gray goo best exemplified by "When the World Turned Upside Down" from 2015. Pointlessly evil people doing pointlessly evil things in a vaguely science-fictiony post-apocalyptic environment, where Man's Inhumanity To Man is the primary theme.

People are Bad, is the basic take home from most things these days. That's what gets awards, and that's what gets published because publishers chase awards. Liberal themes, Liberal stories.

Some of you are now shouting and throwing things at your monitors. You want to know what happened to all the "Conservatives."

We are still here. Nothing happened to us, we didn't go anywhere. We still hold the same set of principles and beliefs we always did. We still pay money for stories we like, we still work for a living, we still do science and study history and literature.

What changed is, we don't get published. Reverse Osmotic pressure. Our stories are impurities that get filtered by the semi-permeable membrane of publishing selection.

The joke of course is that all this is fairly mechanistic. The average Liberals don't deliberately set out to exclude Conservatives, they just don't see good reason to include them.

Where the problem with this shows up is when the "out-group" wildly outnumbers the "in-group." Then you get four years of the Sad Puppies campaign, set up as a joke to demonstrate the Liberal bias in the awards system of the SF/F genre. What started as a science fiction nerd squabble ended up as a Big Deal in the culture wars.

Those damn Conservatives intruded! How dare they?!

This year the Sad Puppies have stopped intruding, and the Hugo Faithful are still reacting to what we did two years ago. With no one to introduce anything different into the mix, the SF/F awards season is looking extremely Lefty/SJW this year, as it always does.

The problem with monocultures is fragility. If one thing changes in the environment the whole crop can catch leaf rot or root fungus. Traditional publishing and SF cons are dwindling in size and sales, as more and more of their audience gets filtered out by the semi-permeable membrane. Unlike the usual "victim group" dynamic, Conservatives and the politically uninterested are wandering off and abandoning traditional publishing completely. They're all on Amazon, writing to e-book.

The Phantom