Things I’ve been reading

I’m not a huge fan of biological gender essentialism, but this is interesting. Apparently, some research shows that when girls hear something, we process it in the language center of our brains, but when boys hear something, the visual parts of their brains activate, which some researchers think means that while girls can grasp a concept through verbal or written language alone, boys may need visuals in addition to understand it.

Changing the subject. I love anything that points out how annoying this reactionary-as-free-thinker/champion-for-free-speech trend is.

Speaking of white audiences … here’s where I mention the intellectual dark web even though I would rather not. It’s the place — online, outside the academy, in pseudo-intellectual “free thought” mag Quillette — where reactionary “intellectuals” flash their advanced degrees while claiming their views are too edgy for the schools that graduated them. These are your Petersons, your Sam Harrises, your Ben Shapiros, the white (non)thinkers, usually men, tied in some vague way to academia, which they use to validate their anti-intellectualism while passing their feelings off as philosophy and, worse, as (mis)guides for the misguided. Last month, a hyped debate between psychology professor Peterson and philosopher Slavoj Žižek had the former spending his opening remarks stumbling around Marxism, having only just read The Communist Manifesto for the first time since high school. As Andray Domise wrote in Maclean’s, “The good professor hadn’t done his homework.” But neither have his fans.

This is good on the Peterson vs Žižek debate. A selection:

He ended his introduction by claiming that the pursuit of profit morally disciplines capitalists to not mistreat their workers, and that any profit-driven boss would never exploit their workers through fear of losing business. As Peterson put it, “you don’t rise to a position of authority that is reliable in a human society primarily by exploiting other people.”

Oh, really? Bosses don’t exploit workers successfully? God I wish I had the privilege to genuinely believe that. Honestly this is why academics need to work outside of academia.

This is also good on the debate.

And then, if you hate yourself, watch the debate. I didn’t.

As a palate-cleanser, check out this fun profile of Keanu, and the internet. And then, if you’re hungry for more (and you will be), read this one. I fucking love a good profile.

And to get angry again: Look at this fucking headline: Police Call Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Of Mentally Ill Walnut Creek Man ‘Tragic’

Let’s deconstruct it. “Police Call” Who the fuck cares what the police think about shooting a man to death? What do we expect them to say to reporters? That he had it coming? No, that’s what they say on the tapes we don’t get to hear until they’re acquitted.

“Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting” aka “Fatal Police Shooting.” It’s both shorter and more specific.

I am SICK to DEATH of headlines and reporting that are unnecessarily deferential to police. I get that reporters need access, but your job should be more than talking to cops and taking their word on shit.

Here’s the more accurate, less boot-licking headline: Grandmother Warned Police Her Grandson Was Mentally Ill, But Police Shot Him to Death Anyway


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.