Archive for the ‘facts’ Category

(links)

Posted: July 24, 2011 in ignorant stereotyping, links
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1) Al Jazeera remains, as usually, one of the most reliable news sources. The only side they take is that of reality-based reporting:

How Muslims were immediately blamed for the attacks in Norway

2) Excellent essay by Glen Greenwald:

Al Qaeda is always to blame, even when it isn’t, even when it’s allegedly the work of a Nordic, Muslim-hating, right-wing European nationalist.  Of course, before Al Qaeda, nobody ever thought to detonate bombs ingovernment buildings or go on indiscriminate, politically motivatedshooting rampages.  The NYT speculates that amonium nitrate fertilizer may have been used to make the bomb because the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, owned a farming-related business and thus could have access to that material; of course nobody would have ever thought of using that substance to make a massive bomb had it not been for Al Qaeda.  So all this proves once again what a menacing threat radical Islam is.

The omnipotence of Al-Qaeda and the meaninglessness of “Terrorism”

Greenwald also links to

3) another excellent essay by Benjamin Doherty that follows media reactions to the terrorist attacks, and also points out that the opinionated people who are presented by the media as ‘experts’ might severely lack any expertise:

The threshold for a terrorism expert must be very low. This whole rush to disseminate a false, unverifiable and flimsily sourced claim strikes me as a case of an elite fanboy wanting to be the first to pass on leaked gadget specs.

How a clueless “terrorism expert” set media suspicion on Muslims after Oslo horror 

Is what we will know in a couple of days from the media.

Yesterday, when the tragedy in Oslo happened, I was working, and then I was baking, and then I went out. So I only found out about it this morning, when the victim count had already reached 91.

This is why I missed out on the mainstream media’s most recent anti-Muslim scare: because, apparently,  an occurrence of a terrorist attack strongly implies there have to be some Muslims involved in it somewhere.

If you’re writing a news article about a terrorist attack, it’s also advisable to mention how the number of Muslim immigrants in Europe has been rising steadily, or, better yet, has risen abruptly, and the Muslim population doubled or tripled, or how the doubling or tripling or quadrupling are expected to be as well as done by 2020, or something like that.

Never give any numbers: numbers are the arch-nemesis of any good scare. Always say “tripled”, as in “the population of Muslims in my town has tripled” and never “Ms Nasri had twins, and she tentatively says she might want to raise them as Muslims”.

“Tripled” just has this special ring to it, OK?

I mean, I sort of do understand that you would want to speculate about fundamentalists when people are murdered: this is what fundamentalists do, it’s not unreasonable to suspect they would be involved, somewhere, pulling all the strings. I just don’t see how the adjective preceding “fundamentalists” should ever matter: they are all the same. Once the enemy is the enemy, once the enemy is the enemy of the Truth, once you start thinking, it’s OK to kill them, I’d be saving innocent souls, or, it’s OK to kill them, it’s not like they’re living human beings anyway, they’re just whores, once you think that way, it doesn’t matter at all whether the imaginary friend you kill or want to kill all those people for is called “Adad” or “God” or “Allah”, because he’s imaginary anyway, and people might die anyway. This is it.

But when you mention the doubling and tripling and quadrupling of brown-skinned people and when you mention things like “attack on the West”:

British security forces were immediately placed on alert amid fears that Norway’s worst terrorist outrage might be the first in a series of attacks on the West. The carnage followed repeated warnings that al-Qaeda was planning a Mumbai-style attack on countries involved in the war in Afghanistan, where Norway has about 500 troops.

I’m just more and more disinclined to be a part of that West with you anymore, OK? We’re incompatible, this was doomed to failure from the start.

But then, you might discover the terrorist attacks had nothing to do with Ms Nasri and her twins and her awful lawn that you hate so much, nothing to do with it at all, and all the doubleds and tripleds you researched so thoroughly were all a waste of effort, because the (as of yet: alleged) terrorist is white as snow and hates Ms. Nasri and her twins even more than you do, even though he’s probably never seen her lawn (so awful). Do not despair! This is only a temporary obstacle on your path towards greatness and a Pulitzer. You can still make it.

You might say that the alleged attacker might have well hated Muslims, but he was really inspired by Muslim fundamentalists. Alternative strategy is to downplay the terrorist factor: the attacker was not a Muslim fundamentalist, therefore he was not a fundamentalist at all. Christian fundamentalists simply don’t count. They’re not fundamentalists: they’re just “firm believers”. Or “really devout people”, or “people whose views I respect even though I disagree” or “people whom I really respect for voicing their opinions, even if they’re so controversial and politically incorrect”. Make sure that your readers are not reminded what the controversial views actually are, because if they know, they might be disgusted. They might remember that real, actual people, their family and friends and neighbours, are hurt by those opinions and people who hold them and the power they have.

Don’t call the attack “a terrorist attack”. “Terrorism” is such a strong word: a word that is not blue-eyed and blond. Call it a “killing spree”, “a massacre” might also be all right, if you want your readers to get all regretful and teary-eyed. Don’t worry, your readers will totally agree with you.

Remember: whatever you write, the victims are still dead, so you might as well write complete bullshit. It won’t bring the dead back to life, either, but it might make you feel better about yourself.

The alleged attacker is not a Muslim, and therefore not a terrorist, we’ve already covered that. Just go for “mentally ill” then, instead! After all, the world is full of mad, crazy, mentally ill people who kill other people all the time. It’s like, you open a newspaper, and bam, there it is, “depressed woman kills a whole village”, “social phobia guy burns a housing estate”, “OCD college student robs a bank”. Everyone knows that it’s the mental illness that makes mentally ill people do awful things, and it’s precisely the apt social commentary like that that’ll get you this bloody Pulitzer one day.

And anyway, it’s sort of indicative of a mental illness, when a terrorist dude has the gall not to be a Muslim. I mean, your entire article, 500 words of hard work and sweat and tears, could be completely wasted. It’s just not acceptable.

Do more of this apt social commentary thing. I mean, it’s totally the thing these days. Write something like “another defeat  of multiculturalism looms in Norway as white people fail to adapt to modern Western democratic values. The Prime Minister suggests a revaluation of the long-term policy might be in order”.

Go for it, just go for it.  Baby, I know you can do it.

***

The squirrel run off. It just couldn’t bear it anymore.

***

Thanks to Veln for the sentence about multiculturalism, I totally stole it <3<3<3, and on a non-sarcastic note, I hate humanity, and why do you always disappoint why

There’s been a horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the areas where I lived, and where my friends and their families still (hopefully :( :( :( ) live were terribly affected. Many people are completely forgetting the tragedy and instead engaging in pathetic scaremongering and thoughtlessly spreading nuclear panic: those numbers you hear on the TV, they sound rather scary, but if you remember what they actually mean for you (if you’re in the US or EU or China or Russia: they mean nothing will happen to you, so kindly shut up), and what happens to many radioactive isotopes after a relatively short time

(do I really need to say this? This is primary school-lever physics, and I say it as someone who was never really interested in hard science, apart from the brief period when I was 12 and wanted to be nuclear physicist: nuclear: because it’s the coolest thing ever, and physicist: because my mum is too — but I digress)

you will realize that only people who are really in danger right now are those working at the Fukushima 1 power plant, for whose work and dedication everybody should be grateful, although concepts such as being grateful are hardly ever mentioned by Western media.

I wonder why.

Anyway, I’ll just quote from the banana equivalent dose article for those who are too lazy to read the links:

Many foods are naturally radioactive, and bananas are particularly so, due to the radioactive potassium-40, or 40K they contain. Bananas are radioactive enough to regularly cause false alarms on radiation sensors used to detect possible illegal smuggling of nuclear material at U.S. ports. A medium-sized banana contains about 450 mg of potassium. 40K makes up 0.0117% of this, or about 53 μg, which produces 14 radioactive decays per second (dps), or 0.37 nCi of radiation. If the banana is eaten, the dose equivalent is about 0.01 mrem, which is equivalent to 0.1 μSv (emphasis mine).

See? You’ve been eating radioactive stuff for ages and didn’t even know about it.

Anyway, have you seen this video? It’s a bit too late, because the situation in the power plant seems to be under control, I’ve just seen the NHK news, and they managed to get the wanter into reactor 3, and it seems they’re pretty optimistic, but anyway, this explanation is the easiest to understand there is:

Some people have said that it’s for Japanese children and USian adults, but this is not true: the video must have been made for the German government. If they watch it, perhaps they stop scaremongering.

Maybe.

But I wouldn’t get our hopes up.

***

Anyway: back to People and Their Priorities.

Imagine you’re in a town terribly affected by the tsunami. You see only ruins, ruins, and ruins; and you know that under the ruins there are dead people who didn’t manage to escape. The people who did manage to evacuate are now in a shelter, most likely they don’t have enough blankets and food, because the railways might have been destroyed, and there’s very little gasoline, and the help from the government hasn’t arrived yet. There are many old people, because younger people have mostly moved to bigger cities, leaving their parents and grandparents behind, in little villages on the seashore , old people  many of whom are quite ill, there is however very little medicine left, and the doctors haven’t arrived so far. It’s very cold and it’s snowing, but there’s very little oil for the stoves — and in any case, there’s only one stove — so the people in the shelter are only turning the stove on during the cold night*.

What do you do? You take some photos. Sensible:  people will be sorry and might donate some money for the victims:

Maybe one more:

So what do you do? I know!

SAVE A FISH.

I wish I was kidding:

Sorry, but if there are people who have no food and no warm clothes, and it’s snowing, and it’s cold, and three old ladies have to share one blanket, and there’s only one stove, I will so fucking judge if you go around saving ~*fish*~

So! Let’s do more than Tarah and Carisa, let’s  do more than just save a fish. Your money, which can be used for medicine and blankets and food, is needed:

International Red Cross

Medecins Sans Frontieres

A FB page with links to regional organizations in Japan that are operating in areas affected by the disaster right now, WITH ENGLISH INFO. It’s perhaps the quickest and most effective way to help: the organizations linked on that page are already there.

Every penny is needed!

Look

This girl is looking for her mum in the ruins of Kesennuma, a town that was destroyed by tsunami and a series of terrible fires. We can’t get her mum back, but we can make sure she’s got something to eat and a blanket.

Let’s do more than save a fish!

(Oh, and Tarah and Carisa? I’m normally vegetarian, but next time I’m eating out? I’ll happily munch a fish, thinking of you <3)

(Thanks to Palacsinta, who commented on my other blog, for the link <3)

* It really has been like that: I’ve been watching NHK all the time :(((

I was pushing piles of books from place to place today, when I noticed the binding of my Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Report on the Banality of Evil being pretty much in tatters. I opened it, and for the first time I actually noticed the letter Gershom Sholem sent her after the book was published. Now, while some very valid criticisms have been voiced since (like, I also didn’t understand her obsession with discrediting Hausner, so ummm, and also her frequent remarks about other people being more convincing or articulate than him, not really based on any evidence that was also shown to the reader), I think Sholem’s criticism is way off the mark: never did Arendt blame the victims of the Holocaust, and nowhere did she claim that “Eichmann became a Zionist” – she only remarked ironically that it was how Eichmann wanted to present himself.

It is the last paragraph of Sholem’s letter that seems to me most revealing: Sholem remarks that he regrets that she rejected the previous version of her analysis of evil, an analysis that was “eloquent” and “erudite”, adopting instead the “slogan-like” conclusion about the “banality of evil”. This, Sholem says, he cannot accept: however, he does not give any reasons for that other than the previous analysis being “eloquent”. This because there aren’t any: you can’t argue with facts.

And well: I guess when you’re a philosopher of religion, you don’t deal with facts, you deal with ideas. There’s no better way of putting it: in the end you actually write what sounds good, and what’s eloquent; you don’t write about facts, there’s nothing to check, nothing to verify, and also the voice of your god you hear in your head is your voice, always your voice(1). When you write about ideas, it’s much prettier to write that evil is radical or demonic or something similarly dramatic.

But when you write about facts, you can’t make them pretty; or at least you shouldn’t. And (some of) the facts are:

There was a man in court, his name was Eichmann, he was an SS-man

He did horrid things

He didn’t feel guilty

He wasn’t very smart

He had trouble expressing himself

He portrayed himself as an unlucky person, a victim of circumstances

He lied to the judges, he lied to himself, he lied to everyone, his lies were typically thoughtless self-contradictory denier lies

There was nothing radical or demonic about him

In the end, there can be no doubt that the final conclusion about the banality of evil stands, that there are facts supporting it; even if they aren’t “eloquent”. You could write something prettier and more erudite about it, but why would you, when there’s no need? The facts are more than enough.

 

(About some of the later criticisms of Arendt: again, I think they’re off the mark: of course, Arendt repeated often how Eichmann often claimed that he was not anti-Semitic, but nowhere did she say that she actually believed him; quite the opposite, she repeatedly stated that he kept bragging and contradicting himself and could not be trusted. He racist remarks however, are completely indefensible)

(Yes, I actually re-read half of the book this morning)

(facepalm)

(1) There was a study like that somewhere, too, but I’m too busy to look.

A book I have read some time ago, so we’ll have to rely on tiny scrapes of paper with my notes <3 Obviously, I can’t write reviews, and I dislike writing reviews(1), so there will only be list.

The good things about the book:

1) Buruma actually did talk to actual Muslim people from Netherlands, people from different backgrounds, with different opinions on Islam and its role (if any) in their lives and so on. Compared to typical drivel that is usually written in cases like that by self-proclaimed experts (I’m looking at you, Oriana “Nomen Omen” Fallaci) who just list their racist prejudices in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order; the reverse alphabetical part being the only variety; this is a huge improvement.

2) Buruma’s criticism of Hirsi Ali as fighting her own made up version of “one true Islam” is spot on.

3) His account of anti-Semitism in Netherlands is… well. I think the stadium scene with people hissing is one of the most disgusting things I read about.

The bad things about the book:

1) Is it really really necessary to call Ayan Hirsi Ali “exotic beauty” or “African beauty” everywhere, all the time? Because, honestly, it’s sexist, racist, and also quite repetitive. If I had an electronic version of the book I’d calculate the frequency per 10 000 words at least, but I don’t and also really, really? It’s the 21st century FFS. Buruma, stop being a creepy stalkerish idiot.

2) Throughout the book, Buruma uses the words “fanatical”, “orthodox” and “fundamentalist” pretty much interchangeably. Well, the problem is, they don’t mean the same thing at all. A look at his bibliography confirms that he used mostly books and articles written by other journalists, but not stuff written by people who, for instance, research fundamentalism as a sociological phenomenon. It’s a great pity; Buruma’s argument would have been much clearer if his narration about fundamentalism versus orthodoxy versus fanaticism had been coherent.

3) Buruma’s insistence on defending van Gogh’s hateful diatribes is a bit disturbing. I mean, of course, no matter how hateful, one should not just be murdered, but on the other hand, why make excuses for everything van Gogh said? “It’s the Dutch tradition” — imagine someone saying this about some group of Muslims, the outrage it would surely cause. Also, it was clear from Buruma’s narration that van Gogh’s hateful tirades were mostly directed against people who are already silenced or oppressed in the mainstream discourse, and not against people who had actual power.

Or maybe, I might be a victim of severe culture shock: in Eastern Europe, it is only to be so vile when one bemoans one’s woeful life, which one is forced to live despite the trials and tribulations one undergoes on a daily basis, look at this shop assistant, he was rude to me on purpose, look at this guy there, he’s looking at me funny, look at that kid, she’s gonna spill that juice isn’t she, and so on.

But I digress.

Anyway, I think the book is definitely worth reading, even if it’s far from perfect. It certainly contains a lot of interesting information, and if one just closes one’s eyes every time Ayan Hirsi Ali is called “the exotic African beauty” everything should be OK.

(1) My theory of reviews is based on stuff written by Kyougoku Natsuhiko, who is otherwise an author of boring pretentious horrors interspersed with pretentious preachy bits about his views on virtually everything which I for some reason keep reading, and looks like that: there are four main types of review-like texts:

1) information: there’s a book, it was written by XY who also wrote ABC, and you can buy here and here

2) ad: you should totally read XY’s new book, it’s awesome

3) account of personal idiosyncrasy: I read XY’s new book and I totally loved it because (…)

4) structural (etc) analysis: I read XY’s new book and it’s made from tropes A, B, C

of which 1) and 2) are rather worthless, and 3) is only interesting to read if you care about the author’s personal tastes and idiosyncrasies, because you’re for instance friends with them. Otherwise it’s boring and useless. 4) requires spoilers and a reader who doesn’t care about spoilers, and we can’t have that here so.

Yes, I actually think about stuff like that. It’s really sad.

Hi guys! Meet Bryan Fischer! By now most of you must have heard about him and his… something.

(I have to confess, internets, I have trouble with labeling this properly. I mean, sure, it’s written stuff, so I should theoretically be able to call this “an editorial”, but IDK, internets. It might be because I’m not a native speaker, but I’m sort of used to editorials having, I don’t know, some actual content that is not 100% bullshit? I mean, it is AFA we’re talking about, and one should not set one’s expectations too high; in fact one should be resign oneself to coming across some very disturbing imagery — and why isn’t it rated R or something? I mean, I’m old and cynical, but I still (insert a hideous grimace) — and complete bullshit, and one has to brace oneself properly in order to face it without recoiling in disgust –and can I get a medal for that? — but still, I could not possibly call this “an editorial”. Let’s just call it “Bryan Fischer’s Thing“)

But, first things first! Like many of you, right after I finished snickering over Bryan Fischer’s Thing, I immediately asked myself ~who the fuck is Bryan Fischer~??? Because much as I pride myself in knowing about the barbarian hordes of rabid fundamentalists and the inanities and absurdities they typically bring forth, I am, after all, only human. Some arseholes will always be overlooked.

So, here’s Bryan Fischer’s bio. It has a lot of words like “values” and “Christian”, which make me all cross-eyed and squinchy-faced, so I almost didn’t read it. Almost.

What we can find out from the bio is:

– Bryan Fischer’s had very little fun in his miserable life

– Bryan Fischer likes to present himself as a moral and principled person. However, all the principles he stans for can only be defended at the expense of many other people, none of whom are Bryan Fischer

– Bryan Fischer has devoted his life to the very manly idea of being a professional fundamentalist

Altogether not very interesting. However if one googles some, as one does, one will find out that:

– Bryan Fischer believes that Hitler was gay and his gayness somehow made him so bloodthirsty that he started WWII and the Holocaust. Therefore gay people should not be allowed to serve in the military lest they become the next Hitler:

Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews. Gays in the military is an experiment that has been tried and found disastrously and tragically wanting. Maybe it’s time for Congress to learn a lesson from history (source).

– Bryan Fischer believes that all Muslim people are hellbent on killing all non-Muslim people, and therefore should not be allowed to serve in the military. It is not clear whether being Muslim played any role in Hitler’s upbringing:

It is time, I suggest, to stop the practice of allowing Muslims to serve in the U.S. military. The reason is simple: the more devout a Muslim is, the more of a threat he is to national security (source).

– Bryan Fischer is no homophobe, he merely argues for a more free market than just a free market. The connection between Hitler and the free market remains unclear:

Special rights for homosexuals in the workplace: problem solved. No employer should be forced to hire admitted felons to work for him. End of the threat to freedom of religion and freedom of association in the marketplace (source).

– Bryan Fischer really hates bears, the curse upon the land. Hitler couldn’t be reached for a comment:

One human being is worth more than an infinite number of grizzly bears. Another way to put it is that there is no number of live grizzlies worth one dead human being. If it’s a choice between grizzlies and humans, the grizzlies have to go. And it’s time.

(…)

God makes it clear in Scripture that deaths of people and livestock at the hands of savage beasts is a sign that the land is under a curse. The tragic thing here is that we are bringing this curse upon ourselves (source).

That sure puts Ficher’s Thing into perspective. Also, possible diagnosis of heavy military fetishism?

Anyway! As a typical European defeatist pacifist feminist commie, I don’t actually like people who make a living by killing other people when they’re told to, i.e. the military. However, it’s nice when they do something nice, like helping people affected by natural disasters, saving kittens, saving people from being victims of genocide or not doing their job, i.e., not killing people.

Alas! Bryan Fischer just thinks that when soldiers don’t kill as many people as possible they’re just sissies:

But I have noticed a disturbing trend in the awarding of these medals, which few others seem to have recognized.

We have feminized the Medal of Honor (source).

Note the gratuitous misogyny.

According to Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, every Medal of Honor awarded during these two conflicts has been awarded for saving life. Not one has been awarded for inflicting casualties on the enemy. Not one (same source).

The horror. It should be obvious that one plans a war having a complete annihilation of the enemy in mind, and not, like, you know, achieving a particular goal. The more carnage the better. The public likes nothing more than seeing mutilated bodies of the enemy soldiers and civilians on the news, especially if they’re children.

(The public is manly that way)

In fact, somebody got a Nobel Peace Prize for that some time ago. Really.

When we think of heroism in battle, we used the think of our boys storming the beaches of Normandy under withering fire, climbing the cliffs of Pointe do Hoc while enemy soldiers fired straight down on them, and tossing grenades into pill boxes to take out gun emplacements (same source).

Aw, what a pretty sight!

Note that the only thing Fischer could have possibly ~*storm*~ was his local branch of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Incidentally, how difficult it is to grasp that even during WWII the objective was not to kill as many Nazis soldiers as possible, but maybe to end the war in such a way that the ally losses are as little as possible as soon as possible? This is not Halo, FFS.

I would suggest our culture has become so feminized that we have become squeamish at the thought of the valor that is expressed in killing enemy soldiers through acts of bravery (same source).

How is throwing a grenade a brave act? How is it courageous to bomb a city? What’s so brave about using an automatic weapon to shoot people?

(Or bears, we should add, bearing in mind who we’re talking about, people or bears)

We know instinctively that we should honor courage, but shy away from honoring courage if it results in the taking of life rather than in just the saving of life (same source).

Next time a USian plane accidentally bombs an Afghani village, by all means do tell me how honorable and courageous it was.

Certainly more ~*manly*~ than ~*just*~ saving a life.

(By the way, how many lives, people’s or bears’, did Bryan Fischer save that he can talk about it in such a flippant way? I’d go with none, but what do I know)

The significance of the cross is not just that Jesus laid down his life for us, but that he defeated the enemy of our souls in the process. It was on the cross that he crushed the head of the serpent. It was on the cross that “he disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15) (same source).

That’s very vivid.  Was Jesus a member of a military, though?

I don’t think so. Fortunately, there’s always this:

 

Well, back to reading now <3

(I’m reading Introduction to Modern Mathematics right now. It’s very entertaining)

Anyway, in 1967 children were learning too:

The little girl, showing in her domestic play the overriding absorption in personal relationships through which she will later fulfill her role of wife, mother and “expressive leader” of the family (Parsons & Bales, 1956), learns language early in order to communicate. The kind of communication in which she is chiefly interested at this stage concerns the nurturant routines which are the stuff of family life. Sharing and talking about them as she copies and “helps” her mother about the house must enhance the mutual identification of mother and child, which in turn, as Mowrer (1952) and McCarthy (1953) suggest, will reinforce imitation of the mother’s speech and promote further acquisition of language, at first oriented toward domestic and interpersonal affairs but later adapted to other uses as well. Her intellectual performance is relatively predictable because it is rooted in thi early communication, which enables her (environment permitting) to display her inherited potential at an early age.

The same thing happens in boys, but to a lesser extent because they cannot so easily share their interests. Their preoccupation with the working of mechanical things is less interesting to most mothers, and fathers are much less available. Probably too, effective communication about cause and effect presupposes a later stage of mental development than does communication about household routines. The small boy may be storing a great many observations, but his conversation tends to be limited to such remarks as Train stop until he is mature enough to ask Why is the train stopping? … His language, less fluent and personal and later to appear than the girl’s, develops along more analytic lines and may, in favourable circumstances, provide the groundwork for the later intellectual achievement which could not have been foreseen in his first few years.

(Moore 1967, pp. 100-101, cited in Macaulay 1978, p. 360, cited in Eckert, McConnell-Ginet, Language and Gender, 2003)

One has to mention that while extremely creepy, biased and unquestioningly supportive of the extant social order, this sort of pseudoscientific attitude is by no means gone. One only has to smirk derisively at The Female Brain, and lo, its brainless savanna-dwelling adherents come out of the woodwork, mumbling incoherent things about “savanna ancestors”, “hunting and gathering” and “men needing to rape because evolution and also science”, desperately trying to defend the pseudoscience that validates their biases, bigotry and prejudice.

(Incidentally, having read Mark Liberman’s deconstruction of The Female Brain — and other poorly done/described neuroscience research — one has to come to the conclusion that Louann Brizendine is a fraud and a kook. There are only so many end notes that give references to research that doesn’t support her most important claims — or in many cases has nothing to do with her claims at all —  one can read without suspecting foul play(1). Or possibly, she didn’t understand a word of what she hopefully *did* read.)

(Also, there are rumours that there’s a neat deconstruction of Brizendine in Cordelia Fine‘s Delusions of Gender, which I haven’t yet read, and which was recommended on PZ Myers’ blog earlier today. The comment section of that post is, predictably, filled with angry ape-descended savanna-dwellers. For them, I have a message: guise, penis enlargement stuff can be found in the “spam” folder of your mailbox. Have fun!)

(1) Liberman never says it, repeatedly assuming Brizendine’s good will. This is because he’s a nice and also a serious person.

I am neither.