In favour of about one citizen in five hundred, who, by education or practice in scribbling, has acquired a tolerable style as to grammar and construction, so as to bear printing; or who is possessed of a press and a few types. This five hundredth part of the citizens have the privilege of accusing and abusing the other four hundred and ninety-nine parts at their pleasure; or they may hire out their pens and press to others for that purpose.
- Did you know swiss cheese without eyes (holes) is called ‘blind’?
- Vegans have a delightful tendency to inadvertently compose metal lyrics by describing everyday foods. They’re not the first: “the 7th Century Christian Arab poet Al-Akhtal made a point to never eat halal meat, in his famous defiant poem boasting his Christianity: ‘I do not eat sacrificial flesh’.”
- Related: What a black market for pork looks like.
- Americans are vastly more likely to attend college than their European counterparts: “Right now, 67% of High school graduates enter college, in the UK, it’s around 25% and looking at other EU countries, it’s pretty similar.” I’m sure my social betters will take note and switch from agitating for Free college! Like Europe! to Less college! More standardized testing! Like Europe!
- Related: “once selection processes are adjusted for, intergenerational income mobility among college graduates is very close to that among non-graduates. This finding suggests that expanding the pool of college graduates per se is unlikely to boost intergenerational income mobility in the United States.” (via Tyler Cowen)
- And speaking of the overproduction of bullshit credentials, my home state now licenses landscaping, “Op-Ed: Illinois ‘license to landscape’ bill is a pure protection racket.”
- Related: “A cosmetologist must complete 350 days of educational training to get a state license. An EMT can be licensed after just 37.”
- “A Conspiracy To Kill IE6”
- This month Facebook exiled a few more heretics, “Louis Farrakhan, Milo Yiannopoulos, InfoWars and others.” Related: What You Can’t Say
- …while Salesforce banned gun vendors from their platform. Woke Capital has truly summited a new peak of nauseating apologetics here, “We’re a corporation erecting barriers between you and your rights, because we’re the good guys.”
- Naturally, in such an environment, cue the appearance of Woke AI: “In an update announced Thursday, Final Draft — software that writers use to format scripts — said it will now include a proprietary “Inclusivity Analysis” feature, allowing filmmakers “to quickly assign and measure the ethnicity, gender, age, disability or any other definable trait of the characters,” including race, the company said in a statement.” (via Tyler Cowen)
- The above are but minor bits compared to this impressive cataloguing of our yuppie dystopia. (via /r/SorceryOfTheSpectacle)
America and Americans
- The white privilege meme mostly just reduces concern for poor whites: “We conclude that, among social liberals, White privilege lessons may increase beliefs that poor White people have failed to take advantage of their racial privilege—leading to negative social evaluations.” My maximally cynical take is that this is it working as intended. Egalitarians are the first to sneer at anyone poor, rural, or heavily accented so long as they’re white–it’s a tribal shibboleth. Conservatives worry about being mistaken for a black person; progressives worry about being mistaken for the wrong class of white person.
- Related: “Among Democrats, whites are more likely than blacks to say diversity is very good for the country (76% vs. 61%); 67% of Hispanic Democrats say the same.” and “Among whites with a bachelor’s degree or more education, 38% in the least diverse neighborhoods say they wish their community was more racially mixed than it is; 22% of those with some college and 16% with a high school diploma or less education say the same.”
- Related: “South Africa’s performance on a range of social, economic and governance measures deteriorated more in the past 12 years than any other nation not at war, according to Eunomix Business & Economics Ltd.”
- “For the second decade in a row, the number of children and teenagers visiting the emergency department for suicidal behaviour has almost doubled, and the median age is just 13 years old.”
- Americans drink more alcohol than China but, “By 2030, the two countries will have traded places: Chinese adults are projected to drink more than 10 litres on average, while American consumption of alcohol will drop slightly to 9.5 litres.” (via Tyler Cowen) Hey, it’s cheaper than healthcare.
Weapons & War
- Flamethrowers are unregulated in every state except Maryland and California and surprisingly affordable. This one is $3200, listed as napalm compatible, and “designed to deliver maximum firepower downrange.”
- “North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un requested as part of the agreement between the countries moving forward that the U.S. send ‘famous basketball players’ to normalize relations between the two countries, according to two U.S. officials.”
- Related: “Sadaam Hussain was given the key to the city of Detroit”
- What’s wrong with Arabic armies? “U.S. trainers have often been surprised over the years by the fact that information provided to key personnel does not get much further than them. Having learned to perform some complicated procedure, an Arab technician knows that he is invaluable so long as he is the only one in a unit to have that knowledge; once he dispenses it to others he no longer is the only font of knowledge and his power dissipates. “
- The Trump administration is pro-bear. “Nixon went to China. Zinke is going to bring the grizzly bear back to the North Cascades.” What country is represented by a bear? That’s right: Russia. Trump. Bears. Russia. Collusion. Checkmate, Republicans, I’ve caught you honey-handed. You and your treasonous pro-grizzly agenda are finished.
- Speaking of bears, “the nutrient profile of a panda’s all-bamboo diet — very high in protein, and low in carbohydrates — is much closer to that of a typical carnivore than to that of other plant-eating mammals. ‘It was a surprise,’ Wei says. Nutritionally, ‘bamboo looks like a kind of meat.'”
- …and of honey, here’s a brave Redditor who tried eating the honey bee instead: “Trapped drones fried in butter and lightly salted taste like bacon.”
- Bullies get laid more, “Our results suggest that exploitative traits may be associated with bullying and sexual partners across adolescence.”
- …and so do gang members, “the 57 male gang members involved in the outbreak had a significantly (p < .03) higher average number of sex partners than did the 63 male non‐gang members who were also involved in the outbreak.”
- Atheists are trusted more if they’re monogamous, “recent findings suggest that distrust of nonreligious individuals is almost completely erased by knowledge that they are following a restricted monogamous lifestyle”
- …but they’d better hope their wife’s career doesn’t take off: women who receive a promotion are more likely to divorce.
- “Women’s automatic in-group bias (the preference for their own sex) is 4.5x as strong as men’s.”
- Economic success is dysgenic: “Low fertility increases descendant socioeconomic position but reduce long-term fitness in a modern post-industrial society”
- Related: Nick Land’s conception of cities as IQ shredding machines that burn biocapital to produce technocapital.
- Bonus drug trivia: “… there is a clear monotonic association between childhood general intelligence and adult consumption of psychoactive drugs. ‘Very bright individuals (with IQs above 125) are roughly three-tenths of a standard deviation more likely to consume psychoactive drugs than ‘very dull’ individuals (with IQs below 75).”