Archive for the ‘oh yes i am totally working totes!’ Category

I was one of those kids(1) who, when they wanted to look something up, would open the dictionary, or the encyclopaedia, or something, and their eyes would just wander towards a greatly amusing and fascinating yet completely irrelevant entry, which they would consequently read, and the entry after that, and another, ten pages further, which would prove even more fascinating, and in two hours they would finally have the startling realisation of ‘omg  so laaaaaaate, whyyyyyyyyy’.

This has not changed in the least, only the obsession and compulsion has been upgraded to something more compulsive, more obsessive and more deranged. Now it’s happening all the time, not just when I open a dictionary. I have to carry at least two colours of post-its, in case I feel the need to stick a pink note about something to the closest flat surface I can take with me. I always carry pencils and an extra box of leads, because you never know.

There’s paper everywhere in my living space. Online, I follow all the links. Usually, I even read the comments(2).

All this pales in comparison to what happens when I start reading.  Every book, fiction or not, is a list of things that can be looked up, allusions, associations, citations, facts, names, events, animals, plants, everything. I can’t read any further if I don’t look up every historical personage, though toponyms are something I’m as a rule uninterested in. It’s ludicrous to propose that one can continue reading without seeing a photo of a plant one has never heard of before.  Every citation’s author has to be looked up, and if the citation was fun or any good at all, the possibility of acquiring the author’s books has to be meticulously considered. Covers of individual editions are compared and rated (why Alberto Manguel’s books have such ugly covers, by the way? Ugh. I’m starting to think I’ll have to wait for a new edition or something), availability and shipping times noted down. Bookmarks are created, the Delicious account swells, but already there are ten further links to follow. Link link link.

Very frequently what starts as an ostensibly simplistic task of identifying an author of a quote will turn into one-day back and forth between Wikipedia, Worldcat, JSTOR and several other places, ending in hundreds of pages, articles, and a migraine.

(Also, soon I will need better glasses)

(Also, where’s my coffee)

It seems like a small mercy when an author provides footnotes, or appendices or indices on his or her own (hello there, Georges Perec), but in fact this only leads to more research, and more madness, because now there is virtually no excuse NO EXCUSEEEEEE not to look everything up, including minor, obscure Impressionist (blergh, is what sums up my thoughts on Impressionism), minor obscure German mediaeval poets (nom nom nom), and tedious theological treatises (yaaawn). An index: it only means the autor is asking, very very politely, to look everything up.

This is, more or less, why I haven’t been posting much recently.

Also, why I probably should give up reading BUT I CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN’T ;_;

(1) The reason why I know I wasn’t the only one is that we exchanged anecdotes in secondary school, over our dictionaries.

(2) Not recommended.

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But the snow, oh, the snooooooooooow(1).

I’m maybe sort of back to semi-regular blogging, only:

1. I NEED TO MOVE IN THREE WEEKS PANIC PANIC PANIC!!111!!!11 Also, snoooooooooooooow.

2. I need to write, well, I wanted to say “a gazillion” words, but the more empirically accurate estimate would be, like, maybe 50 000 words? Well, that’s what I’m hoping for, anyway.

Part of it has to be in German WOE. My idea of coping with writing in German is: write everything in passive voice, put a full stop every half a page, vomit a Thesaurus all over it.

The really tragic thing: most of the time it works.

3. OH AND I UNIONISED AGAIN SO THAT NOBODY CAN USE MY SLAVE LABOUR TO FIGHT AGAINST THEISM ANYMORE(2) AND SAY HALLO THAR TO PLANET ATHEISM <3.

4. Also, I read seven thousand interesting things, but most of them have to do with the stuff I have to do, so, the willingness to write about it on my blog? Like, nonexistent.

I’d recommend any article/book ever by Mario Liverani, though, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

IF I’M NOT BACK TOMORROW IT MEANS THAT THE SNOW ATE ME EVEN THOUGH I FOUGHT TIL THE END111!1!!1!!1!111111 WITH MY TINY LITTLE ARMS.

ETA: typos, as usual =_=

(1) At this point I might sort of identify a bit with Captain Ahab, only that would be rather silly, because, chasing snow with a harpoon? Yeah, NO.

(2) Not that anybody would, you see, there are far too many volunteers for slave labour to be needed, but it SOUNDS SO GOOD.

I only ever come back to Poland when I need to 1) shop, 2) have a food orgy 3) both.

So, in the interest of my family having the best possible food orgy ever this Xmas, both parenting units and me went out shopping.

Sauerkraut for pierogi is scheduled to be purchased directly from a farmer on Monday, as per usual, but cakes!

(AND OMD I FORGOT ABOUT MUSHROOMS NOOOOO)

Anyway. My mum is a cheesecake person(1), so we spent hours choosing the right sort of quark. The discussion was mostly about whether it should have sugar or not.

My dad is obsessed with the idea of making his own tiramisu, somehow. I don’t know why. I don’t think he knows either. It’s like, my dad is “AND SUDDENLY THIS BRILLIANT IDEA OCCURRED :D :D :D” sort of person.

So he was sniffing around mascarpone for hours, and finally bought 1 kilogram (“WHAT IF THERE ISN’T ENOUGH??? *SADFACE*”). Uh-huh. There will be a lot of tiramisu.

(I’m also hoping there will be brussels sprouts with raisins at some point. NOM NOM NOM BRUSSELS SPROUTS :D)

Personally, I think I will be making gingerbread (OMD NEED HONEY NAO OMD OMD OMD), muffins, moar muffins, something with marzipan, a chocolate cake of some sort and apple cupcakes.

Um.

I don’t really like sweet stuff. I just want to baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!

(Also: must ask what the trophy girlfriends wants)

OMD JUST REMEMBERED MY BROTHER’S PAL’S GOT HIS OWN APIARY MUST HAVE THE  HONEY NOW.

On a more atheism-related note: no one in the family is actually Xian or anything. We’re in this for the food. Duh.

Oh wait. Maybe in the morning.

(1) NOM NOM NOM.

I was going through the notes I took yesterday.

I FigurInschrift – (Adorant – the only figure that’s inscribed – name of the god abgebrochen)

Fail!

(And I usually write stuff like left-right-up-down-NSWE-middle-outside with Japanese logograms anyway)

Double fail!

So, this post was supposed to be about fuckwitted morons who feel oppressed by Japanese honorifics, largely because of their own linguistic incompetence, which I hoped to somehow rectify.
However, I was taking a wee look at Jerry Coyne’s blog, and BABY TAPIRS HAPPENED.

malay-tapir-with-baby
CUTE!

baby-malay-tapir

Greg Meyer, the guest blogger, also wrote some smart stuff but BABY TAPIR111!!!!!

So, seeing as the fuckwitted cretin has spoken again, it is time to post post post.

Satoshi Kanazawa is mainly a disgusting vile misogynist and a pathetic excuse for a human being (see below), currently paid money to be more disgusting and vile by the London School of Economics (Hi thar, LSE!). Why LSE wants to continue paying Satoshi Kanazawa to be increasingly disgusting and vile is indubitably one of the greatest mysteries of the universe*.

Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist. Evolutionary psychology is an eminently useful field of study, which has the potential to yield many scientific explanations to the sort of human behaviour we take for granted.

However, evolutionary psychology is also infested with woomeisters and complete idiots incapable of statistical analysis, critical thinking, and failing at Anthropology 101 (such as: SO THERE ARE CULTURES IN THE WORLD THAT ARE DIFFERENT THAN THE WESTERN EUROPEAN????? IMPOSSIBLE).

The woomeisters have been many a time lambasted by Ben Goldacre, like in this post which points out, among other things,  the European bias in the research claiming that pink is more girly because of the girly genes that like pink more. I won’t even bother with any criticism, because, seriously, words fail. As Ben Goldacre says:

Boys who were raised in pink frilly dresses went down mines and fought in World War 2. Clothing conventions do change over time.

Yes, well.

Unfortunately, Satoshi Kanazawa is one of the least competent evolutionary psychologist on Earth, possibly even in the universe. (He is also very very evil.)

Apart from his marketing genius and pure evilness (Kanazawa is known to have been called the Ann Coulter of evolutionary psychology), Satoshi Kanazawa is most known for:

1. His ridiculous research trying (and failing) to link “attractiveness” with reproductive strategies and reproductive success, and all sorts of vacuous claims regarding “attractiveness”. His statistics proved to be flawed and were many times criticised, which Kanazawa obviously ignored.

He also claimed that women are getting more “attractive” faster than men, which is absolutely ridiculous. Why it is so is obvious even to a non-specialist: males and females receive HALF their genes from BOTH male and female parent, thus any actual physical differences between males and females take an extremely long time to emerge. (More at Gene Expression).

Also, the question of “attractiveness” itself remains largely unresolved. Attractiveness is dependent on the cultural milieu, and has no absolute value. There’s nouniversally recognised definition of “attractiveness”. The method of judging the relative attractiveness of research subjects is very subjective, and, in the end, rather meaningless (also, see Jezebel – also for the links to the press coverage of the whole debacle).

Of course, despite valid criticisms the first thing Kanazawa does after spitting out another 5000 words of vapid ejaculations is running off to meet the press.

2. His dubious claims about the link between lower average IQ and poverty in Africa. Kanazawa says:

Having examined the effects of economic development and income inequality on health, he was ‘surprised’ to find that IQ had a much more important impact, he said. ‘Poverty, lack of sanitation, clean water, education and healthcare do not increase health and longevity, and nor does economic development.’

Because I’m not a racist scumbag and also can think logically, I’d rather be inclined to say that the causation goes the other way round: because of poverty on the average the brains of poor children in Africa do not develop the way they could if not for lack of proper nutrition and so on, and so forth. But then, what do I know? I don’t even have a PhD. Also, I’m politically correct.

What was however, absolutely disgraceful, was the way LSE backed Kanazawa in his claims. The thing is, the CRITICS his research did not demand that he be silenced and it had nothing to do with “academic freedom”.

That is, unless you think that academic freedom is your god-given right to publish poorly-if-at-all fact-supported racist drivel in peer-reviewed journals, forever unchallenged.

3. For being a despicable human being. Because faced with statements like that I have actually nothing more to say, I urge you to read his op-ed about the war on terror for yourself:

Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine that, on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers came down, the President of the United States was not George W. Bush, but Ann Coulter. What would have happened then? On September 12, President Coulter would have ordered the US military forces to drop 35 nuclear bombs throughout the Middle East, killing all of our actual and potential enemy combatants, and their wives and children. On September 13, the war would have been over and won, without a single American life lost.

Yes, we need a woman in the White House, but not the one who’s running**.

Wow. So it’s okay for hundreds of milions of completely innocent people to die as long as they’re not USians? OKAY!

(Also, if I were Ann Coulter, I’d be seriously offended)

(But then, Ann Coulter is Ann Coulter, so she most likely wasn’t)

Well, now Dr Kanazawa came to tell us all what exactly he thinks about those eevuhl feminists, pardon, feminazis, and their evil feminazi agenda. At this point, this particular kind of drivel was only expected and a matter of time:

Why modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil

Feminism is the radical notion that women are men (link)
Fortunately, so far nobody’s postulated the radical notion that Kanazawa has a brain.
Not in a jar in his study or something really radical like that, but inside his skull.
Which is by the way empty, save for a lonely, lonely colony of maggots.
But I digress!
In his op-ed, Kanazawa argues that because women can gain access to resources by having sex with men***, it means there is no inequality PRESTO! While arguing his point, Kanazawa makes so many blunders I didn’t even have the patience to finish reading, but for those less irritable:

Among mammals, the female always has more power than the male, and humans are no exception.  It is true that, in all human societies, men largely control all the money, politics, and prestige.  They do, because they have to, in order to impress women.  Women don’t control these resources, because they don’t have to.  What do women control?  Men.  As I mention in an earlier post, any reasonably attractive young woman exercises as much power over men as the male ruler of the world does over women.

ETA: 21/05/2011 removed some problematic wording <3

* Or not. Follow the money! Also, it must be very convenient for racist people over at LSE to have a brown-skinned person who will conveniently say for them all those racist things they want to say, but are no longer allowed to in public.

** Hillary Clinton was running for the president at the time.

*** But only if they are reasonably attractive. Where attractive = Kanazawa would like to have sex with them.

ETA: here it is, the Evolutionary Psychology Bingo! (Via lolscience)

evopsychbingo

OK, so it wasn’t THAT bad. But still.