June 2003

“stereotype threat” — the threat of being viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype, or the fear of doing something that would inadvertently confirm that stereotype. Everyone experiences stereotype threat. We are all members of some group about which negative stereotypes exist, from white males and Methodists to women and the elderly. And in a situation where one of those stereotypes applies — a man talking to women about pay equity, for example, or an aging faculty member trying to remember a number sequence in the middle of a lecture — we know that we may be judged by it.”

Is this the reason that “Gaps between the average test performance of African-Americans and European Americans have proven to be remarkably persistent, remaining even when socioeconomic status, prior performance and other factors have been accounted for” or is it an excuse facing difficult questions about group capabilities?

[Note: Abelard has correctly identified this as a pathological reaction akin to paranoia.]


Caption: A quotation from Stalin: “The fundamental principles of modern
capitalism can be put this way: Guaranteeing maximum profits through
the exploitation, ruination and enslaving of the majority of the population
of the given country, through the systematic plundering of the people in
other countries, in particular the undeveloped nations, and finally through
war and economic militarization. All these contribute to high profits.”

This site is wonderful. Exerpts from pamphlets and bookets on subjects such as “Oral Agitation” and “On the General Improvement of our Political-Ideological Work Among the Masses”. There are posters of Marx, Engles and Lenin, ” and My workplace: My battleground for peace“.

I like this graphic, “The “Mach mit” movement was a “voluntary compulsory” activity that got people to clean up their neighborhoods, etc. These four graphics urge people to clean up, plant, repair and renovate.”

Here is a whole chapter on Agitation in Military Units.

This is an extremely sad article from a contemporary daily newspaper about the horrible toll of the Allied bombing. It is called Unexpected Consequences – The Bombing War: Overcoming and Revenge by Hans Schwarz van Berk



by Limbic on June 25, 2003

Whichbook.net gives readers an enjoyable and intuitive way to find books to match their mood.

Instead of starting from the overwhelming choice of books available, whichbook.net starts from the reader, and enables each individual to build the elements of that elusive ‘good read’ we are all looking for but don’t quite know how to define.

The standard way of organising books for choice, on shelves in a library or a bookshop, or on the web, starts from the products available – the authors, titles, publishers or genres. Using innovative software from Applied Psychology Research Ltd, whichbook.net enables, for the first time, the choice of book to start from the individual reader and what he/she is looking for.”



As the science of mass control evolved, PR firms developed further guidelines for effective copy. Here are some of the gems:

* dehumanize the attacked party by labeling and name calling
* speak in glittering generalities using emotionally positive words
* when covering something up, don’t use plain English; stall for time; distract
* get endorsements from celebrities, churches, sports figures, street people – anyone who has no expertise in the subject at hand
* the ‘plain folks’ ruse: us billionaires are just like you
* when minimizing outrage, don’t say anything memorable
* when minimizing outrage, point out the benefits of what just happened
* when minimizing outrage, avoid moral issues

Keep this list. Start watching for these techniques. Not hard to find – look at today’s paper or tonight’s TV news. See what they’re doing; these guys are good! ” MORE


Ultimate reality show…

by Limbic on June 24, 2003

Sperm-Wars:The Game

“What could be first manifestation in this new realm of sport? Taking into account such factors as: simplicity of contest design, ease of sample collection, lots of visible action, and abundant human male competitiveness, the most logical and economic choice would be a sperm competition. This new sporting event will combine the ‘to the death’ intensity of modern computer games and the thrill of ‘real’ physical participation as with conventional athletics. Designed in seven, oftentimes intertwined and simultaneous, phases Sperm-Wars:The Game is being developed to test the viability of this new realm of sport. Contest variety, popularity and sophistication will be fully explored. The scientific research is currently under way. The proper legal safeguards are being put in place.”


Absurd new proposal from the EU Imperium

by Limbic on June 24, 2003

‘Sexist’ adverts under threat, Evening Standard:

“…advertising which uses women’s bodies to sell products could be banned under new European rules being described as one of the EU’s most ambitious pieces of social legislation.

The legislation banning sex discrimination in media, advertising and insurance is in the final stages of drafting by the European Commission.”

The newspapers are focusing on the obvious, namely the purported exploitation of women in sexy advertisments. What they have not noticed is that the bulk of sexist advertising discriminates against men, not women. Take these examples from Fredric Hayward’s legendary article “Male bashing”:

The [male bashing] trend is particularly rampant in advertising. In a survey of 1000 random advertisements, 100% of the jerks singled out in male-female relationships were male.

There were no exceptions. That is, whenever there was a husband-wife or boyfriend-girlfriend interaction, the one who was dumped on was a male.

One hundred percent of the ignorant ones were male. One hundred percent of the ones who lost a contest were male. One hundred percent of the ones who were put down without retribution were male. Sometimes the male would insult the female , but she was always sure to get him back in spades before the commercial ended. One hundred percent of the objects of rejection were male. One
hundred percent of the objects of violence were male.

In entertainment the trend is similarly raging. Some television shows are little more then a bunch of anti-male jokes strung together.
Deciding to count this phenomenon during one episode of ‘The Golden Girls’, I found 31 women’s insults of men compared to two men’s insults of women.

Family sitcoms like ‘The Cosby Show’ or ‘Family Ties’ have an unwritten rule that mothers are never to be the butt of jokes or made to look foolish.

I think this proposed legislation will be slaughtered by the advertising industry before it gets near realisation, but it may be a pity. We may just have been handed a massive stick with which to beat the feminist agenda out of advertising and TV.

Meanwhile, news is in that “Smacking leads to child abuse” and that 80% of MP’s agree according to the Guardian. “The government today faces growing pressure to ban parents from smacking their children, after two parliamentary reports said existing laws could be used as a cover for abuse.

The health select committee and the joint committee on human rights called for an end to the “reasonable chastisement” defence which, they said, was often used in court to defend violence against children.

Their reports were backed by an NSPCC survey suggesting 80% of MPs agreed the physical punishment of children could lead to physical abuse”.

Luckily there are some sane people still being quoted by the Guardian,

“Shadow health secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “Outlawing smacking would be an outrageous intrusion by the state into parents’ legitimate rights and duties.

“There’s a whole world of difference between the form of discipline most parents use and the premeditated and persistent cruelty which has come to light in cases such as that of Victoria Climbie.

“To try to draw parallels is not only preposterous but also deeply insulting to the vast majority of parents in this country.”

Robert Whelan, director of the pressure group Family and Youth Concern, said it was “grotesque” that the Climbie case was being used to “try to criminalise parents”.

“All parents understand the difference between a little smack given as a means of discipline in a loving and supportive relationship and abuse,” he told the BBC. ” MORE


Compiled by Philip Zaleski, editor of The Best Spiritual Writing series.


The sin of Onan

by Limbic on June 19, 2003

“Then came adolescenceóhalf of my waking life spent locked behind the bathroom door, firing my wad down the toilet bowl, or into the soiled clothes of the laundry hamper, or splat, up against the medicine-chest mirror, before which I stood in my dropped drawers so I could see how it looked coming out. Through a world of matted handkerchiefs and crumpled Kleenex and stained pajamas, I moved my raw and swollen penis, perpetually in dread that my loathesomeness would be discovered by someone stealing upon me just as I was in the frenzy of dropping my load. Nevertheless, I was wholly incapable of keeping my paws from my dong once it started the climb up my belly. . . . On an outing of our family association, I once cored an apple, saw to my astonishment (and with the aid of my obsession) what it looked like, and ran off into the woods to fall upon the orifice of the fruit, pretending that the cool and mealy hole was actually between the legs of that mythical being who always called me Big Boy when she pleaded for what no girl in all recorded history had ever had. “Oh shove it in me, Big Boy, ” cried the cored apple that I banged silly on that picnic. “Big Boy, Big Boy, oh give me all you ‘ve got,” begged the empty milk bottle that I kept hidden in our storage bin in the basement, to drive wild after school with my Vaselined upright. “Come, Big Boy, come, “screamed the maddened piece of liver that, in my own insanity, I bought one afternoon at a butcher shop and, believe it or not, violated behind a billboard on the way to a bar mit^vah lesson.” (Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint)


Only in Africa… [BBC]

by Limbic on June 19, 2003

…could someone just take off (literally) with an old 727.


Male Chromosome Seriously Weird [Wired]

by Limbic on June 19, 2003

“The Y chromosome is probably the weirdest chromosome in the human genome. Scientists already knew that it determines the male sex, but other than that it was considered a genetic junkyard. It contains very few actual genes — the rest is repetitious, random DNA.

But in two papers published in the June 19 issue of Nature, 40 scientists from around the world describe how the Y chromosome is likely a key for understanding male infertility, since genetic defects often cause the inability to procreate. They also were surprised to find that it swaps DNA within itself — essentially having sex with itself — to prevent the so-called junk from festering. ” MORE