Speaking up every time

by Limbic on February 1, 2015

Warren Farrell photo

By Warren.Farrell (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

[Update: Whilst browsing Eric W Raymond’s Google+ I spotted a post about Shanley Kane. Turns out she is pretty, well, nutty. And despite her rantings about “white males”, she has a history of extreme racism herself. Fascinating.]
 

Was clearing out my Instapaper backlog today and came across this very interesting profile of feminist published Shanley Kane by Elizabeth Spiers from July 2014. Called “Speaking up every. Fucking. Time”, it is an interesting glimpse into the life and tactics of a feminist campaigner in Silicon Valley.

By chance I also stumbled upon Mariah Blake’s profile in of former feminist, now Men’s Rights activist, Warren Farrell, called a “Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned“. The profile is deeply, deeply unfair it it’s characterization, but in fairness it does post responses both by Farrell and other men’s activists slandered in the piece.

One thing that struck me was that in both pieces there is a defence of sorts of the hard-line tactics used in anger by the campaigners:

As Spiers says of Kane:

“…it would be naïve to think that this would be accomplished entirely by the tonally appropriate, the consummate diplomats, the people who always control their anger in public and never call anyone a shithead. “Speaking up every. Fucking. Time,” as she puts it, is done in a variety of ways, and big societal advances are never the result of monolithic strategies or tactics. Someone occasionally has to “burn shit down.” And Kane is good at burning shit down

…What remains to be seen is whether her sometimes gleeful arson, which often seems like an end in itself, also puts what she’s trying to build at risk. It’s difficult to build a media operation while refusing to engage with the subjects of the stories you’re trying to tell. “

Here is Blake on Farrell:

“He also maintains that A Voice for Men deploys over-the-top language and tactics because it’s the only way to overcome public indifference and draw attention to the urgent problems facing men. “I don’t know a social movement that has made any progress without anger,” he told me.”

Farrell’s last word on this, in his response to the article, is anything but angry.  He comes across as a genuine and thoughtful man. I will be taking a closer look at his work.

On a personal level, I appreciate your accurate incorporation of some of my responses to your queries. Overall, though, I feel like I’ve been portrayed as the unwitting and sometimes witting inspirer of the gender equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan–of men who would rape or kill women. To me, this is like saying Mother Jones was a Communist who inspired the deaths perpetrated by Stalin. (Well, I’m getting on a roll here!)

I know the story as you wrote it matches the vision of the great majority of MJ’s readers, and that that is your source of income and ideology. I mistakenly thought that with more information, that you were a woman who would have the courage to move your readers to see what they were not seeing rather than further close their minds, deepen their fears of men, and widen the gender gap. Yes, many men’s rights men have done the same thing–but you, who are condemning that, are in your own way reinforcing that. Do you see that?

To me, Mariah, when a magazine calls itself liberal, radical or progressive, it ideally incorporates rather than excludes. Being progressive means using the skills of gifted writers such as you to articulate well what has been articulated poorly; to uncover the best intent of the angry and hurt.

As you know, when I was with the women’s movement, I tried to never allow books like the SCUM Manifesto–advocating a Society for Cutting Up Men by the woman who shot Andy Warhol–to blind me from seeing the women’s movement’s best intent. To me, that is what is required if we are to call ourselves progressive.

Please ask yourself, “will this article leave women angrier?”

And “will it leave men feeling unheard?”

Do you want to feed your son by creating a world with angrier women and unheard men?

Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned | Mother Jones

“Speaking up every. F*cking. Time” — Matter — Medium

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Another reason to repeal blasphemy laws

by Limbic on January 31, 2015

USACE employees receive flu protection

From the Sydney Morning Herald comes this, “Anti-vaccination group encourages parents to join fake church“:

A controversial anti-vaccination group is encouraging people to sign up to a fake church because it may help them bypass Australia’s emerging “no jab, no play” childcare laws.

…children who are not fully immunised are unable to enrol in childcare unless their parents declare they have a medical reason or personal, philosophical or religious objection.

…But with some doctors refusing to sign the documents, the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network Inc (formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network), is spruiking 1 the “Church of Conscious Living” as a religion that is opposed to vaccination.

Now imagine how this could go down here in Denmark, where according to the Blasphemy laws

“Anybody who publicly mocks or insults any in this country legally existing religious community tenets of faith or worship, will be punished by fine or imprisonment for up to 4 months.” –  § 140 of the penal code

A  pseudo-science believing loon can simply join or establish a religious community. They declare these claims to be tenets of faith or worship. They declare they are insulted by any disputation of their tenets of faith. Anyone arguing with them publicly commits a crime.

[Note: Fleming has a response to this characterization in the comments below]

The Onion nails it, as usual:

I Don’t Vaccinate My Child Because It’s My Right To Decide What Eliminated Diseases Come Roaring Back | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

(Thanks Farren for the heads up on Danish blasphemy laws)


 

  1. New word to me, means to promote

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Africanized Deep House

by Limbic on January 30, 2015

Jody Wisternoff just dropped his latest Intensified Mix for January 2015 [MP3] .

Track two is a “Mr Raoul K – Sena Kela feat . Laolu”.  I absolutely love this track. It sounds a bit like early Deep Forest , but don’t let that put you off.

Here it is….

Here is the whole mix….

Intensified – 5 January 2015 – Jody Wisternoff by Chemicalgroove on Mixcloud

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The Fatalism of Names (or a tale of two Barrys)

by Limbic on January 29, 2015

I never cease to be tickled by name <–> profession suitability.

Two recent examples

Barry Mapp the Mind Mapping Expert

This is from Barry’s Udemy course. Nice guy and great course, but oh how he must get mocked for that name.

Barry_mapp
Barry Sample the drug tester

This one comes from This American Life’s “I Was So High” episode:

 Ira Glass: Sean, are there surveys measuring how many of us are high all the time?

Sean Cole: I mean– [SIGH] There’s not a lot of data. There’s workplace drug tests that show 3 and 1/2% of workers test positive for drugs. But obviously, that’s only in workplaces that test for drugs in the first place.  One of the experts on this data, who’s wonderfully named, Dr. Barry Sample from Quest Diagnostics told me drug use is a couple percentage points higher in places that don’t test for drugs.

From http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/524/transcript

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Personal Wikis and Link Autosuggestion

by Limbic on January 26, 2015

I absolutely love wikis and have used them personally and professionally for years.

I was not surprised to learn recently that the US intelligence community uses them extensively 1. As does the UK’s GCHQ 2.

I think I started out with Wikidpad as my personal wiki before it was even open sourced. It was (and is) a phenomenal wiki. Windows native, but Python based so with some effort you can get it running on Linux and OS X too.

When I started using OS X both at work and personally, I moved my Wikidpad notes to nvAlt, another stupendous personal information manager that combined near instantaneous search with the ability to create a note right out of your search and super easy note linking with link autocompletion.

Confluence nvalt

A killer feature for me is the ability to get link suggestions/autocompletions as you type. Just Type [[ and start typing a name and if it exists you get a list of matching linked notes you can select and link to. Confluence, Wikipad, naval and SahrePoint Wiki all have this natively. You can get it in MediaWiki with plugins like LinkSuggest, but it only starts to suggest after the first three letters. This feature is missing from OneNote, although linking via [[ is supported.

Whilst I loved nvAlt for my personal wiki / notebook, I also wanted a public notebook or wiki.

I tended to find myself using one of two wikis for pubic wikis: MediaWiki or Confluence .

I had been using MediaWiki for several projects (e.g. the Belgrade Foreign Visitors Club wiki) and found it a phenomenally powerful platform, especially when you extend it with plugins like Semantic MediaWiki. I also greatly enjoyed Confluence. I used it for many years in a former company, where it was an indispensable tool for us. We used to for all our internal documentation, but also for external facing user documentation.

Confluence is hard to beat on features, especially the much loved link autocompletion feature.  It is a full on Enterprise wiki, but it comes at a price. Unlike MediaWiki, you need a dedicated VM / computer to run it. It is Java based and needs loads of memory to be performant. The license is dirt cheap for individuals and small teams ($10 for 10 users) but as soon as you exceed this you are paying big bucks for the software. You also need to be fairly technically proficient to operate a Confluence instance, but it is very well supported too.

These days I am mostly using OneNote for my notes and personal wiki. It is an absolutely superb piece of software that “just works” on every platform I uses (Windows, OSX, iOS, Windows Phone). I have filed a feature request (internally) with the OneNote team for them  to support link autocompletion. If you like the idea, please vote for it on  the OneNote team’s Uservoice.

I have been tempted to OneNote as a public wiki too. It is trivially easy to share a notebook with the public. The only problem is that the URLs are ugly and the notebook cannot be styled to look unique to you.

If I can find a way to easily shuttle my OneNotes to Confluence, I may have a winner. I can do all my composing in OneNote, then just publish to Confluence 3.

I am already considering doing this for blogging now that OneNote for Windows has a blogging feature now.

If you are looking for some resources to get started with your own wiki, here you go….

  1. “Structured analytic techniques for intelligence analysis by by Richards J. Heuer, Jr., and Randolph H. Pherson (2011)
  2. One of Edward Snowden’s leaks was a copy of the “Internal Wikipedia” used by GCHQ
  3. Plugin writers, I beseech you!

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Security militias in Jewish areas of London

by Limbic on January 26, 2015

Jewish_patrol_cars_shomrim_out_in_London_amid_fears_of_copycat_Paris_attack___Daily_Mail_Online

Shomrim patrol car in London (Daily Mail Online)

Update 15 February 2015

After the attacks in Copenhagen over the last 24 hours, it is shame on Denmark too. A homegrown jihadi murdered two people, one of whom was a Jewish security guard protecting a bar mitzvah ceremony at a Copenhagen synagogue.  They had been warned there might be an attack after the earlier shooting at the free speech seminar, but even with armed police present, the gunman attacked. The reaction here in Denmark has been wonderful. A priest led his whole flock from a nearby church to the synagogue to express their sympathy and solidarity.  The prime minister went to the synagogue and made a fine speech in support of the Jewish community. That said, the leaders of the Jewish community looked so tired and saddened…

cph_jewsih_leaders


 

Original post

I was genuinely surprised to learn that there is a police approved community security militia – Shomrim – that patrols Jewish neighbourhoods of London. The group, a neighbourhood watch group, also has patrols in other English and US cities.

This is grim echo of a nightmarish future, like something from  a Ken McLeod novel like  “The Star Faction” or Neil Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age“,  where communities have to protect themselves in the absence of state security. The sad reality is these Jewish communities really need this self-defence. Just as Israel tends to be the first target of novel forms of terrorism 1, Jewish communities in Europe are harbingers of what the future may look like for any minority community that finds itself targeted by imported bigotry that is not systematically challenged.

Jewish friends here in Copenhagen dare not wear Kippahs or Star of David necklaces for fear of attack. Earlier this month a Jewish journalist wore a Kippah in the souther Swedish city of Malmo (across the bridge from Copenhagen). He was verbally and physically abused by dozens of people.

The documentary (subtitled) is quite extraordinary and terrifying. Shame on Sweden:

More on Shomrim

Justice on London’s streets, the Jewish way – Crime – UK – The Independent

On Patrol with North London’s Crime-Fighting Orthodox Jews | VICE | United Kingdom

Jewish patrol cars shomrim out in London amid fears of copycat Paris attack | Daily Mail Online

Shomrim London (@shomrimlondon) | Twitter

More on Anti-Semitism  in Malmo

In Malmo, Swedish journalist wearing kippah tests attitudes of people towards Jews

Swedish reporter assaulted after wearing kippah to test attitudes toward Jews – Jewish World News – Israel News | Haaretz

The ADL GLOBAL 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism

  1. The recent “silent intifada” where people drive into pedestrians started in Israel before being adopted by French Islamists

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Liberating the inner psychopath

by Limbic on January 17, 2015

004_loathesome

I was listening to a BBC podcast today on the Islamic State called Bureaucracy and Brutality. In one segment, a former jihadi called Aimen Dean talks about a friend, now an ISIS judge, who delights in handing out sadistic punishments (dismembering, crucifixion, lashings, beheadings) in the ISIS occupied territories (the new Caliphate).

A sense of elitist isolationism. It is that isolationist, elitist mentality which liberates the psychopath within.

There are many people in this world who have that small psychopathic tendency at the back of their mind, but it is guilt and conscience that basically stops them from hurting other people.

However, if you tell someone that “you will be able to behead, to kill, to lash, to burn a village, to do of whatever you like while serving a cause and you will be rewarded for it by God in the afterlife”, it does wonders in terms of liberating the inner psychopath.

And therefore they do not see themselves as part of the world, they see themselves as a part of a new world, a purer world.

ISIS Psychopaths

A perfect description of the standard issue true believer extremist who is blind to the ironies of their extremism. Think of the “anti-racist” who chides us for our hidden biases and lack of tolerance but who vehemently hates the “haters”,  celebrating violence against them and spending all their time posting grossly offensive stereotypes about the supposed “oppressors”.  but it also immediately reminded me of a contemporary scourge:

It also reminds me of what I call the the iTartuffes, those smarmy PC platitude posting faux-moralists who team up with the zealots to form the pitiless digital pitchfork wielding mob bullies of social media. You know the type, they are everywhere. Think of those male “feminists” who say all approved gender neutral things, but who come across as creepy and insincere, looking more to score ladies than defeat the patriarchy.

I am not talking about the “political” friends we all have on Facebook. Those people with earnest if predictably strong positions on world events. Nope, iTartuffes are moral posers: PC, smug and in your face with their finger wagging moralism. They are quick to judge, demand apologies for the slightest offence and almost always fraudulent hypocrites.

here is something faintly disgusting about them, like a waft of BO or flatus. There is a vague but disquieting feeling that the iTartuffe does not believe their own words, because, well, they don’t. We groan when we see their Facebook posts shamelessly repeating the right-on platitude of the day. There is something awkward and forced about their style. They are fronting and we can tell. Since human hate deception and coercion, we end up hating the iTartuffes too. They end up in echo chabers with fellow iTartuffes each striving harder than the next to prove their loyalty and ideological purity.

In isolation the iTartuffe is a nuisance, at worst an irritation but numbers, and led by trie believers, however, these cowards are dangerous, as any mob can be. Their inner psychopath is let off the leash completely. All the conditions of cruelty are there: They are serving their cause which licenses the punishment of ideological enemies, and they will be rewarded with social approval and moral smugness in the new, purer word, purged of the intolerant/the male/the pale skinned/the rich or whatever hated class of oppressor they are targeting.

The psychology of this is well understood, if not widely known. The best description of the psychology is in the Kindle single “Trial by Fury: Internet Savagery and the Amanda Know case”. Here is an excerpt from a Salon article based on the book:

The answer to this human behavior lies, as many such answers do, in evolutionary biology. Experiments show that when some people punish others, the reward part of their brain lights up like a Christmas tree.

It turns out we humans avidly engage in something anthropologists call “altruistic punishment.”

What is altruistic punishment? It is when a person punishes someone who has done nothing against them personally but has violated what they perceive to be the norms of society.

Why “altruistic”? Because the punisher is doing something that benefits society at large, with no immediate personal gain. Altruistic punishment is normally a good thing. Our entire criminal justice system is based on it.

In our evolutionary past, small groups of hunter-gatherers needed enforcers, individuals who took it upon themselves to punish slackers and transgressors to maintain group cohesion.

We evolved this way. As a result, some people are born to be punishers. They are hard-wired for it.

What does all this have to do with Amanda Knox? Almost all the nasty comments about her follow a pattern. Even though she did nothing to them, they are all demanding her punishment. This is altruistic punishment gone haywire, in which the anti-Amanda bloggers have become a cybermob not unlike the witch-hunts of medieval Europe or lynch mobs in the American South.

These mobs form all over the Internet, and not just in the Amanda case, assailing everyone from Anne Hathaway to Katie Roiphe. Everywhere you look on the Internet you find self-appointed punishers at work. Never in human history has a system developed like the Internet, which allows for the free rein of our punishing instincts, conducted with complete anonymity, with no checks or balances, no moderation, and no accountability. On the Internet, our darkest evolutionary biology runs riot.

So what yourselves all you internet vigilantes. You are ISIS of the Occident. You are the useful idiots of fanaticism, bent away from the genuine service of civilised values by your wayward hunter gatherer moral brain.   Don’t the the haters. Don’t even hate ISIS. Don’t even hate the fake feminist and the racist anti-racists. We are ALL coded with bugs in the wetware.
SEE MORE…

On the Islamic State

Bureaucracy and Brutality [BBC Radio Documentaries]

Rare Islamic State visit reveals ‘brutal and strong’ force [BBC] 

Islamic State: Yazidi women tell of sex-slavery trauma [BBC]

Bullying, Pecking Orders, the psychology of Online Mobs

Fronting – Urban Dictionary 

Bully Psychology: Where Evolution And Morality Collide [Forbes]

Finger-Wagging Moralists Hurting Themselves, Society (1995) [MIT]

The evolution of altruistic punishment [2002] [PNAS]

On Ideology by Kenneth Minogue [First Principles] 

True believers [Wikipedia]

Pecking order / punishing transgressors and cheats by Howard Bloom [Youtube Video]

Two superb books on morality…

Moral Tribes by Joshua Green [Amazon Kindle]

The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt [Amazon Kindle]

 

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“Man is ready to die for an idea, provided the idea is not quite clear to him”

- Paul Eldridge

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One of the panels from a series by The Oatmeal on “How to Suck at your religion


mormo-jews

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Western Civilization

by Limbic on January 8, 2015

Noticed an oddity in  the New York Times. Nicholas Kristof was opining on innocent (non-extremist) Muslim and quoted this:

There’s a humbling story, perhaps apocryphal, that Gandhi was once asked: What do you think of Western civilization? He supposedly responded: I think it would be a good idea.

Isn’t that simple bigotry? Let me illustrate.

There’s a humbling story, perhaps apocryphal, that Ghandi was once asked: What do you think of Islamic civilization? He supposedly responded: I think it would be a good idea.

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