A Sturm's Eye View, Guaranteed
Free of Harmful, or Potentially Harmful Chemicals -- but Watch Out for the
Ideas! Some of them are Contagious!
A journal of sorts to record Jonathan Sturm's (and others') thoughts and observations on things worth thinking about. Feedback welcome, but be aware that unless you prominently say you want your communication kept private, I may publish it.
Previous |Next | Home
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Monday 25 November 2002
Reasons to be Fearful: Part One
(to the tune of Reasons to be Cheerful: Part Three by Ian Dury and The Blockheads)
Friday was not a good day for The Git. His ex ISP, the extremely slow and unreliable iPrimus, sent him an account for an additional three months of unwanted service with the addendum that they had tried unsuccessfully to take the money from his credit card account. Readers from the early days will remember The Git's problems with OneNet, an ISP that is no more. It appears that iPrimus aspires to a similar fate.
Remembering that OneNet had refused to cancel the service when sent a letter, that only a telephone call was allowed, The Git made sure there was insufficient money in the credit card account when the iPrimus account came due. Being part of the telco OneTel, OneNet had an aversion to answering the telephone, preferring callers to be placed on hold until the call eventually dropped out, or the caller died of boredom. The Git decided it was better to have iPrimus call him!
Sure enough, The Git received a phone call demanding payment and promptly agreed to deposit the requisite funds in their account, even though he had moved to the incomparably faster Aardvark. The Git also made it abundantly clear that he wanted to cancel his account with iPrimus.
The Git Girded his gonads and called iPrimus. Showing an amazing turn of speed when compared to the thankfully deceased OneNet, the call was answered after a mere thirty minutes! The person at iPrimus who answered agreed that they had been asked to cancel the service on the date they had called The Git. BUT the computer record showed an unauthorised request to cancel the service on that date! The upshot (or should that be upshit?) is that The Git is expected to fork out for another three months unused Internet bandwidth (or should that be bandnarrowth?).
The Git recalls the early days of Internet in Australia. The ISPs were all heartily congratulating each other on their sign-up rates. Eventually, they noticed that the annual sign-up rate was rapidly approaching the total number of inhabitants of the Southern hemisphere. Rather than compete on price and quality of service, they decided to create systems whereby they could gouge as much money from each victim as possible. The one exception to the trend, DingoBlue, sadly is no more. Apparently extortion pays better than attention to customer needs.
Reasons to be Fearful: Part Two
Also on Friday, the Telstra saga continued with an admonition that if the outstanding account on the now unused Internet telephone line is not paid forthwith, they will not only disconnect it, they will also disconnect our voice line. That's right, despite two requests to cancel the service, it's still connected. Despite owing us money due to overcharging, they are still attempting to extort more from us!
Reasons to be Fearful: Part Three
The move to The Git's new web host was supposed to be "simple". The Git knew in his heart of hearts that something was bound to go awry. Sure enough, it did!
The simple bit really was simple! The Git logged onto his account at Network Solutions (or should that be NitWit Solutions?) and changed the nameservers so that when you type www.sturmsoft.com in the address box of your browser, it opens the file index.html in the appropriate directory on the hard disk of the correct server. The nameserver has two parts, an easily remembered friendly name, in this case ns.rearviewmirror.org and an IP, in this case 18.104.22.168. There's also a secondary nameserver ns2.rearviewmirror.org with its own different IP.
When The Git changed the old nameserver addresses to the new, the software automatically looked up the appropriate IPs. Since this was the first time he had done this, The Git carefully checked that the IPs matched those he was told to use. Sure enough, the automated software had done its job. After giving the new information time to be relayed across the Internet, my new host, Matt, did a WHOIS? and discovered that the IP for the primary nameserver was incorrect. Typing www.sturmsoft.com into the address box of the browser resulted in requests going to the old server, not the new. Mysteriously, the secondary nameserver details were correct. Matt suggested The Git contact NitWit Solutions to resolve the issue.
NitWit Solutions suggestions have so far included:
Sending them "a detailed explanation", twice! Apparently, they are incapable of reading the one originally sent, the copies in the lengthening email, or the later versions.
Reading the Service Agreement.
Changing either the IP of my original host's nameserver, or the friendly name of my new host's nameserver! Clearly, these morons have no idea of how the Internet works!
The final solution is to send them the password of my account via email, or telephone them. The latter has some dubious merit, except they are probably not there at 4am in the morning!
The Git's solution to this conundrum is to change his Domain Hosting to Joker, though how long this will take is anybody's guess.
Reasons to be Fearful: Part Four
Saturday was a warmer than usual day. Not very hot, just the high 20s. The Git's son, Thomas, has inherited his dad's conservatism regarding computer temperatures and decided that running his brand-spanking new CPU at 45įC was too much. For reasons that escape him, or The Git, he took the side off the case and poked his finger through the fan to see how hot the heatsink felt. Unfortunately, the fan was spinning away at 6,000 RPM or so and promptly disintegrated. Fortunately, Thomas's finger suffered considerably less damage than the fan.
Today, Thomas is off to the city to locate a suitable replacement fan. Given recent events, The Git is fearful that either the CPU, or the new MoBo will have been damaged beyond repair. There's absolutely no way we can afford a second set of replacement parts at this time and the prospect of enduring a morose teenager for months is far from enchanting.
Thought for the day:
The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens... that Dickens loved to paint... but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.
C. S. Lewis
Ian Dury and The Blockheads -- Jukebox Dury
Tuesday 26 November 2002
Well, according to Bo Leuf, some of you can view this website -- but not The Git! Sooner, or later, there's going to be a rush of all the email that's been accumulating. Kind of strange to be without the usual flood of incoming messages.
Thomas's computer fired up nicely with the new cooler. It turned out that you can't purchase a fan in Hobart, only a heatsink with a fan. The new one is a ThermalTake, all that was available at the places he tried. It's a little quieter than the Dr Thermal, but not by much.
There's nothing quite so delightful as coming across a great "new" writer -- new in the sense of unread by oneself before, that is. In this instance, The Git refers to Barbara Tuchman, as he is reading her book: Practising History. a series of essays written between 1936 and 1981. She writes with enthusiasm, precision and clearly displayed bias, so much better than the pretence of detached objectivity feigned by so many writers of non-fiction. The most fascinating essays are the ones dealing with writing itself.
Anyone interested in the craft of writing could not fail to derive much that is useful from the first section of the book, called The Craft. No doubt to non-writers the facts that research is the easiest and most enjoyable part, whereas writing is difficult and often tedious will be surprising. Mrs Tuchman's descriptions of how she came to excel are enlightening for any writer, not just historians. One may disagree with her historical conclusions, but a failure to appreciate her mastery of the craft of writing itself could only indicate some fundamental flaw in the reader.
In another vein entirely is a well thought out essay on Natural Justice. by Roy Halliday.
Even some humans who have intelligence and the ability to speak in abstract terms cannot understand moral principles. For example, people who say that to be moral it is necessary to believe in a god who enforces his commandments by administering punishments in Hell and rewards in Heaven have the moral psychology of dogs rather than of autonomous moral agents. They do not understand the moral basis for the rules that they follow. They rely on external threats and bribes from their gods to provide them with motives for good behavior. They have not internalized their moral principles. So, like dumb animals, they cannot suffer from guilty consciences.
From Still Waiting for Greenhouse:
Perverse Incentive (24 Nov 02)
An article in the 28th October edition of New Scientist draws attention to one major flaw in the Kyoto Protocol, one which creates a perverse incentive for participating countries to wantonly destroy their own natural forests.
New plantation forests are net sinks of CO2, that much is known. But what of mature natural forests? They release as much CO2 as they absorb and so are not net sinks. As such, they cannot be used to claim lucrative carbon credits (The Canadian taxpayer is likely to be the primary source of those funds - if Canada ratifies the protocol).
For any country to claim carbon credits against forest sinks, it needs to lay down plantations which are net sinks of CO2. However, this provides a curious and perverse incentive for those countries which have mature natural or wilderness forests to cut down those forests and replace them with monoculture plantations. They would be able to claim carbon credits for the new planting, while the destruction of the old forest would release vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and ruin possibly pristine wilderness areas. Nothing in the protocol would act to prevent this outcome. Vast forested regions in Russia and Canada would be at risk in this scenario. Industrial countries which fail to meet their targets would also be sorely tempted to trade in their own natural forests in exchange for carbon credits to avoid the penalties which would otherwise be applied.
For example, the Canadian government has no idea how to meet their intended targets, seemingly trusting the problem to luck and some naive idea that all Canadians will actively participate in all the economic pain which will be part and parcel of fulfilling the protocol (history abounds with failed governments entertaining similar delusions about eager mass participation in social experiments). If, as seems likely, Canada fails to meet those targets, plundering the natural forests there could provide a way out from the dilemma.
It would be an environmentalist's nightmare created by the very legal instrument they are so passionately promoting. They should remember an old Spanish proverb - "The more you grasp, the less you hold".
Thought for the day:
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
Laurie Anderson -- Big Science
Wednesday 27 November 2002
The Git has been accused of misogyny! He suspects that this comes from quoting a woman whose writing he admires, Antonia Feitz. The Git became a feminist when he and his first wife read Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch. This had the somewhat fortunate effect (in retrospect) of destroying the marriage. Much in the fashion that Eilis Dillon writes in Across The Bitter Sea about the Irish killing only the good landlords, because they gave the lie to the rhetoric about evil landlords, a male feminist is evil incarnate to the many, if not most feminists.
Over the ensuing years, The Git gradually came to realise that the last thing the feminists he was meeting wanted had anything to do with equality for the sexes. They wanted what they saw as the metaphorical tables turned. What they perceived as oppression by white males (black ones by definition are unable to oppress anyone) should become oppression of men by women. A simple test of this is for The Git to write: "'Why not send us a photograph of your own cunt, with your name labelled on?" Shock, gasp, horror! How dare he write that? Of course it was OK for Germaine Greer to write it in Suck back in 1971. All in the interests of equality of course.
A most eloquent writer on the issue of feminism and its relationship to men is Warren Farrell, like The Git an ex-feminist. His excellent book, The Myth of Male Power exposes feminism for what it truly is: a philosophy designed to make women feel oppressed and angry, and men to feel guilty and unloved. Why this should be a desirable state of affairs escapes The Git, but for anyone who has had any significant amount of contact with feminists, it is an inescapable conclusion.
The Git does not believe any more in the concept of equality. Not just the impossibility of equality between the sexes, but equality between any two individual members of the human race. In a nutshell, different things cannot be equal. It's not just men's and women's bodies that differ markedly, their brains are wired differently while in the womb. Anne Moir and David Jessell's book Brainsex explains in some detail that to treat men and women as if they are equal is a "biological and scientific lie". Further, we each grow as individuals in differing cultures. The Git can extol the virtues of eating cheese until he is blue in the face, but that will not generate the requisite enzyme to digest it in his Asian friends.
Now none of the above should be construed as misogyny. The Git loves and appreciates women, some not very much admittedly, but then there are quite a few men he doesn't like very much either. Rather than pursue some irrational way to make it appear that every individual is equal to any arbitrary other individual, that is bring everyone down to some common, lower denominator, why not celebrate our differences? Why not allow everyone the maximum possible freedom to explore their own life and potential in the way that seems best for them? There is of course a requirement here that the pursuit of one's own goals should not prevent anyone else's pursuit of their own goals, but that leaves more than enough scope for almost anyone other than the truly psychotic.
Quoting Antonia Feitz again:
Ladies and gentlemen, my topic is feminism and some of you may be wondering why, given our country's parlous state. Our national sovereignty is being destroyed by the the over-riding of our domestic laws and the signing of UN treaties -- with no consultation and with no public or even parliamentary debate.
So why feminism? Because feminists are at the vanguard of the phalanx of fools, the useful idiots, the ideologues, who are destroying our hard won rights and our national sovereignty.
We live in an age of ideology. God has been pronounced dead, and Chesterton's witticism has proven true: when people no longer believe in God, they'll believe in anything. And the post-Christian people of the West are proof, holding beliefs which their grandparents would have dismissed as absolute nonsense, and contrary to all common sense let alone morality.
Take extreme environmentalists. Apart from literally worshiping trees, they exalt the welfare of frogs and even insects over that of people. Believe it or not, there's even a Voluntary Human Extinction Movement... And under the banner of multiculturalism, Australian children are either kept ignorant, or taught to be ashamed of their own heritage and history, while simultaneously being taught to value ethnic and especially indigenous cultures.
But arguably, feminism is the most pernicious of the ideologies that plague us, simply because the relationship between men and women affects all of us.
I must stress that modern feminists are not the heirs of the suffragettes who fought for equal rights such as the right to vote and property rights. Modern feminists are not seeking equal rights for women. They want to transform society, and that's no conspiracy theory because they freely admit it.
The message to women is: you will participate in work and public life whether you want to or not. In a now notorious interview with Betty Friedan, Simone de Beauvoir said: "No woman should be authorised to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one."
So much for freedom of choice. These bully-girls demand "a change in the traditional role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the family... to achieve full equality of men and women". Their version of equality is complete identity. It's reminiscent of communist China in Mao's time. The communists were all feminists too. Remember?
Too many people who call themselves feminists are uncritical , accepting the ideology because it -- like all the others -- provides a convenient crutch in life and does away with the need for personal responsibility. Interestingly, the more intelligent ones have tended to re-think their views as they've grown older. Unfortunately, feminists have already done much damage to individuals, to families and to the institutions of society. And as I showed at the beginning, they are the useful idiots who are undermining our national sovereignty.
The Git would like to make it quite clear that he does not endorse everything that Antonia Feitz writes and says, far from it. Too many of us read only the writers who endorse our favoured ideology, allowing a select few to do our thinking for us. This is not merely lazy, it is dangerous.
Thought for the day:
Everything in this email is a load of bollocks and should not be construed as the intellectual property of anybody, much less the author.
Kevin Coyne -- Politicz
Thursday 28 November 2002
The Git has arisen from his sleep in the small hours as is usual these days. He was dreaming of sitting on a beach, watching the tide rise. The tide is the average of many waves and perceptible only by patient watching, or observing the distance up the beach the waves attain and returning some time later to make a further observation. It is a not very often indulged in pastime for The Git, the beaches being about 30 minutes drive away north or south. True, the river below us is tidal, but it lacks the wave motion that makes the pastime so entrancing.
The Git was thinking about the history of ideas being akin to the waves. Like waves, ideas arise with something of a splash and make a mark at their highpoint. The ensuing encapsulation of the idea may be similar, but not identical, making a mark either higher or lower on the sand. For those living through a time of changing ideas, it's often not very obvious whether the tide is rising, or falling, so there's often much argument. History is very much about taking a longer term view so that the minor rises and falls do not obscure the real trend.
One of the most fascinating of those ideas is encapsulated in the sentence: "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights". The Git makes no apology here for choosing that particular turn of phrase from the National Assembly of France on August 26th 1789. We might prefer to use the term Humans, rather than men, though no doubt the Feminazis would still object to this fine word of Latin origin that encapsulates the three letters -- man -- that is the contraction of the word manus, meaning hand. My use of the word Feminazis will have enraged those who have earned the label, but it was they that earned it.
Another group will suffer rage in the Feminazis behalf. They are the dupes of the philosophical rhetoric about words that is designed to distract attention from the ideas behind words. The French drafters of that sentence: "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights" had no detectable intention to exclude women from its ambit. Even if they did, the use of that sentence in The Declaration of Rights was a high point in the rising tide toward greater freedom for all humans.
A later version of the same universal idea is found in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." This phraseology, it seems to The Git, is weaker than the simpler original. The word should in the second sentence implies compulsion, the very antithesis of freedom. But The Git does not want to fall into the very same trap the Feminazis would lead us into.
There would be few outside of the occasional psychotic who would not choose to live in a society of greater, rather than lesser freedom. All but the insane, imbecilic, or uneducated can see that the rising tide of freedom has raised all ships. The pie that is shared by people with more freedom is manifestly greater than the pie shared by those with less. Regardless, the pie remains smaller than required to supply everyone's perceived needs. And this of course leads to theories of political economy.
Fred Reed's satirical look at politics this week: Small Poxes -- A Study Of Left And Right is hilarious!
I am trying to understand Liberals and Conservatives. It isn't easy. I think I've about got it, though.
Conservatives believe in the wisdom of common Americans to manage their affairs and make decisions for themselves. Exceptions to this are the half of the public who regularly vote Democratic. These common Americans are unfit to run their affairs and make decisions for themselves. It is because they been deluded by liberal propaganda.
Liberals also believe in the inherent wisdom of common Americans, especially those who don't have any. They think that the mother lode of wisdom lies on the low side of the bell curve. They discern qualities in the stupid, ignorant, and shiftless that engender a capacity to govern a country they can't spell. Coincidentally, these people vote Democratic.
Liberals do not believe in the wisdom of the half of the country who vote Republican, as these are all CEOs of major corporations. The Left knows that CEOs, unlike welfare recipients, are motivated by economic interest.
Conservatives believe that it is not the business of government to legislate morality, and thus want laws against abortion, pornography, sex education, and marijuana. Liberals don't want to legislate morality either. They want to eliminate it, along with learning, thought, civility, and other impediments to the undisturbed enjoyment of uniform mental darkness.
(A third point of view is held by Libertarians, but I'm not sure what it is. I have never been able to distinguish Libertarianism from a bull session in a sophomore dorm.)
Fred's casual dismissal of Libertarians initially annoyed me a little, but on reflection it's hard to see many Libertarians in any other light. Ayn Rand's followers earnestly wearing gold dollar-sign pendants and puffing on cigarettes, all in the name of liberty and free-thinking, comes to mind.
The Git decided to cancel his mobile phone, both out of disgust with Telstra and as an economy measure. The young man he spoke to (Wayde) listened carefully to The Git and, unlike anyone else he has spoken to in that organisation of late, encouraged him to vent his anger. He also encouraged contacting the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. As a result, The Git will not pay out the rest of the contract on his cell-phone. The monthly cost of ~$US5/month for something that is so useful in emergency, or when travelling, is trivial. In a nutshell, by listening, this most excellent young exponent of the art of marketing/salesmanship, retained a customer. Probably not enough to make up for the rather larger number of Telstra employees who seem to be actively discouraging customers, but The Git was nevertheless very heartened by the experience.
A very strange thing happens with The Git's email from time to time. When doing a send, he receives the error message: "551 5.7.1 we do not relay". Since The Git doesn't relay, nor have any desire whatsoever to do so, he contacted his ISP. The ISP's logs show no such message being generated when Outlook 2000 was displaying them! A Great Mystery, or something programmed into Outlook? Oh, and no, The Git doesn't use more than one SMTP server.
Thought for the day:
Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all the parts of civilised community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their law; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government.
Stomu Yamashta -- Freedom is Frightening
Friday 29 November 2002
Feminism is one of those words that contains an apparent self-contradiction. My free Word Web dictionary defines it as: "A doctrine that advocates equal rights for women". Not "equal rights for people, regardless of sex, colour, marital status, age etc". Just... women. By implication that means non-women, that is men, should not have equal rights. If it is meant to stand for "equal rights for everyone," we already have a perfectly good word for that: "egalitarian". So, the word feminism is either redundant, or about anything but equality, or equal rights.
The early agenda of the feminists in the 1960s and 70s was apparently a logical extension of the suffragette movement that resulted in women achieving the vote and property rights. The demands of the new movement in the early 1970s were for:
The Whitlam government in Australia, before being effectively torpedoed by the CIA, managed to introduce legislation to provide equal pay for equal work and significant moves were afoot regarding the rest. Since Australia, like the US, is a federation of states, the provision of equal pay for federal employees affected only that minority employed by the federal government. Nevertheless, the Women's Electoral Lobby had proved itself a potent political force in a major federal election and continued to have similar effect on subsequent state elections, as well as public opinion. There were few who took South Australian, John Petch's "lunatic fringe" label seriously. In The Git's instance, it made him want to vote for the "lunatic fringe" on the grounds that the lunatics currently in charge were noticeably deficient by most measures!
The demand for equal pay met with considerable approval from many, if not most. Women who performed the same task as a man to the same measure of competency, logically should receive the same remuneration. The Git often made the observation at the time that if there were to be a financial reward for belonging to a particular sex, then women should be the recipients, not men. The women in his employ were more punctual, less likely to turn up to work inebriated/hungover, had fewer absences and were less inclined to leave without notice. They never achieved the same heights of performance as the best of the men, but were far more consistent from day-to-day and week-to-week. They were generally also far less demanding of my time and easier to get along with.
Similarly, there was little real opposition to the concept of equal employment opportunity. The Git remembers a Swede with a degree in shop-window dressing immigrating to South Australia, but being denied employment because as a woman, she could not join the trades union. She was likely the only qualified shop-window dresser in the whole of Australia! Such farces were widely publicised in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the pressure generally had its desired effect.
The demand for free contraceptive services was a declaration of the real motives behind the feminist agenda. They were clearly socialist. Access to contraceptives was pretty widespread already: Australian women more avidly took up the new contraceptive pill than most other places. They also made maximum use of the freedom from unwanted pregnancy this provided. Quite why an inexpensive, readily available commodity should be provided at no cost to fifty percent of users was never made entirely clear to me, then or now.
The Git recalls his first visit to Hobart in 1970. His lady friend, Eve, suggested he pop into Hobart's only all-night pharmacy for some contraceptives, but the pharmacist was a Roman Catholic and didn't stock them. Since we were far from lacking the imagination of the Women's Electoral Lobby, we employed at least one (and probably more!) of the myriad free alternatives to inserting my penis into her vagina. Sexist that he is, The Git recalls only how we satisfied Eve's sexual needs!
Abortion on demand was and remains very controversial. The Git had the unfortunate task of assisting two of his friends to obtain abortions while they were still illegal. They were not backyard operations, being performed by qualified doctors, but were a traumatic experience for The Git and the girls in question. Abortion can be justified on the grounds that a woman should have the right to not have a parasite inhabit her body, but it remains far too close to murder for comfort. The only real beneficiaries in the process were the doctors who charged exorbitant fees for the operation and the police who were extorted much of the fees in return for turning a blind eye.
The Git had no problem countenancing the need for child-care, though again whether it should be free is questionable, if only because nothing is free. Someone must pay -- the question was: who? There can be no doubt that society as a whole benefits from its children. A society that doesn't reproduce will wither away, as is now clearly happening in Australia with government-subsidised child care. We no longer reproduce at a rate sufficient to maintain the current population. This particular issue deserves more than today's passing mention and certainly more than the amount of thought The Git has devoted to it so far.
So, that was the first round of demands from the Women's Electoral Lobby that The Git has taken to represent the broad demands of the feminist movement in the 1970s. True, they have not been fully met, particularly in the area of equal pay for equal work. Presumably a more rational society than ours would have come up with a reasonable compromise on each issue for all concerned. But, having gained a significant voice, electorally and in the media, the feminist movement was only barely started in the 1970s.
During the intervening 30 years, the feminists have redefined some of those earlier demands. Equal employment opportunity, while regrettably not fully met, has been replaced by a demand for what is called Affirmative Action. There are many occupations that most women have no particular interest in performing, just as there are occupations that most men have no particular interest in performing. This has aroused the ire of the modern feminist who demands that something must be done about this lamentable state of affairs. That something is intended to overcome a supposed imbalance between the sexes in certain occupations. The correct balance is taken to be the same as the relative proportion of the sexes in the population.
Achieving this "balance" requires compulsion. In the medical profession, for instance, it is a fact that women are far more attracted to paediatrics than surgery. Artificially boosting the number of female surgeons by either lowering the standards required for women, or increasing the standards required of men, affects far more than the ratio between the sexes. It creates two classes of surgeons, the females with a lower average competency and males with a higher average competency. Given a choice, the sensible among us will choose the male surgeon ahead of the female, even when, all other things being equal, we have an urge to prefer the female. The Git, for instance, finds conversation with women often far more congenial than with men, not to mention finding them visually more attractive.
This lowering of the relative standards for women is to my mind degrading to the women who would have succeeded without Affirmative Action. Further, it undermines the principle of equal pay for equal work. If the work of female surgeons is on average demonstrably inferior to that of male surgeons, then this ought to be reflected in their remuneration being less. This is far removed from the concept of equality in the demands of WEL back in the 1970s -- it is deliberately introducing inequality, while calling it equality.
This warping of language and meaning was recognised by George Orwell and his novel 1984 makes excellent reading, especially during this time of decreasing freedom. The demand that certain words no longer be used, or only be used in certain ways, is a restriction on freedom of speech. Such demands are a primary characteristic of totalitarian political systems and the most widely recognised totalitarian system is that once employed by the Nazis in Germany. Hence, those of us that recognise today's feminism for what it truly is, name it so: Feminazism. It should be pointed out that there are Feminazis of both sexes -- all are opposed to true equality of opportunity and freedom. Saying that oppression is for our own good, does not make it so.
Thought for the day:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercized for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baronís cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis
Kevin Ayers -- Shooting at the Moon
Saturday 30 November 2002
The Git and Mrs Git are off to the wedding of two friends. It is to be a most civilised affair at the Moorilla vineyard and winery. Shopping on the way will include an elastic garment called a back-support. Fran came by yesterday and The Git wore his for the duration of the visit. The pain in his back diminished rapidly and he moved with almost complete comfort for the first time this week!
Cricket -- the "Gentleman's" game:
Australia toured New Zealand a few years back and Blair Pocock was opening the batting for the Kiwis. Having played and missed a couple he was then approached by Mark Waugh from slip.
Waugh pointed at Pocock and said "Oh yeah, I remember you, you toured Australia a couple of years ago. You were sh*t then too."
Pocock then proceeded to hit the next ball for four and pointed at Waugh and said "Oh yeah, I remember you too, you had that f*cking ugly old girlfriend... and then you went and married her you dumb c*nt."
Glenn McGrath (to Otto Brandes, tubby South African no.11, after a 85 mph delivery whistles past OB's chin):
"Why are you so fat?" OB : "Because every time I f*ck your wife, she gives me a biscuit."
During Australia's last tour of South Africa it was rumoured that Daryll Cullinan had been consulting a psychologist to exorcise the demons that appeared whenever Warne removed his hat. No sooner had Cullinan arrived at the crease than Warne snarled: "I'm going to send you straight back to your shrink."
An English county bowler was having surprising success against the great West Indian Viv Richards, who'd played and missed at several balls.
Foolishly, the bowler piped up: "Hey Viv, it's red and it's round."
A steaming Richards cracked the next ball into another postcode and told the bowler, "Hoy mon. You know what it looks like - go fetch it."
Merv Hughes was being Merv, aiming constant abuse at English batsman Robin Smith. But having been told that he "couldn't bat to save his f*cking life", Smith smashed a four, walked down the pitch and said: "Make a good pair, don't we? I can't f*cking bat and you can't f*cking bowl."
Sledging can be plain amusing. It's unlikely Merv Hughes was thinking tactically when he told a struggling English batsmen: "I'll bowl you a f*cking piano, ya Pommie pooftah. Let's see if you can play that."
During a WSC final at the SCG where the game had been shortened due to rain and the atmosphere was running at about 95% humidity a very exhausted Arjuna Ranatunga appealed that he had "sprained" something. He duly asked the umpire for a runner. As clear as a bell through the effects mike you heard Healey's legendary reply "You don't get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c*nt".
Thought for the day:
When women kiss, it always reminds me of prize-fighters shaking hands.
H. L. Mencken
Rory McLeod -- Mouth to Mouth
Sunday 1 December 2002
On the way to the wedding yesterday, The Git contemplated purchasing a girdle to support his back like this one:
However, this would have presented several problems: men aren't supposed to wear pretty clothes, it would have cost quite a lot more than the men's support belt The Git purchased:
And there was the distinct possibility that The Git could be charged with committing an offence against the law. While it's perfectly legal for women to wear men's clothing, it is illegal in several Australian states for men to wear women's clothing. In Tasmania, it's OK during daylight hours if The Git recalls this bizarre legislation correctly, but come dusk, the man foolish enough to be caught wearing a brassiere, or his wife's frilly knickers had better watch out!
This is strange for several reasons. The first that occurs to The Git is that it contradicts the feminist claim that men's institutions, such as the law, are there for men's benefit and designed to oppress women! Quite how women are oppressed by this law and how men benefit is quite beyond my imagining.
The day was marked by a well-attended demonstration in Sydney against the proposed involvement of Australia in bombing the crap out of Iraq. This points up yet another flaw in feminist rhetoric: men are supposedly warmongers, flawed by their killer instincts. If that is so, why is conscription needed to enslave men against their will into the army? And following on from the above, how is enslaving men, but never women, symptomatic of a system designed exclusively for the benefit of men?
Finishing off this line of thought for the week, The Git attempted once more to discover one other person than himself who has read any of the most popular literary form: the romantic novel.
Industry Statistics (As of 8/26/02)
These statistics were compiled by RWA from Book Industry Study Group and American Bookseller Association reports, and from tallies in Ingramís Catalogue of all book releases.
- Romance generated $1.52 billion in sales in 2001.
- There were 2,143 romance titles released in 2001.
- Romance fiction comprises 18% of all books sold (not including childrenís books).
- Romance fiction comprises 54.5% of all popular paperback fiction sold in North America. [46% in 1991]
- Romance fiction comprises 35.8% of all popular fiction sold. (Different from above, this figure includes not just paperbacks, but hardcovers and trade-sized paperbacks as well as well.)
- Mystery/Detective/Suspense is 26.6% of popular fiction sales
- General Fiction is 17% of popular fiction sales
- Science Fiction/Fantasy is 6.6% of popular fiction sales
- Religious, occult, westerns, male adventure, general history, adult and movie tie-ins was 14.% of popular fiction sales
Unsurprisingly, The Git found no-one else willing to admit to having read any. It's some years past since The Git investigated the genre and there is, he imagines, a slim possibility that there have been some changes in content. However, he is not in the least surprised that women, many of whom must read these books, refuse to admit to it if they are at all similar. The Git found an overarching theme of domineering, powerful men (including one WWII Nazi concentration camp commandant) having their way with women! Invariably, the heroine endures some early hardship in her life, only to find true love contentment and marriage, living off the earnings of the wealthy man who fell uncontrollably in love with her for the rest of her days.
While it's easy for The Git to admit to reading such material with the excuse that it's research, for a woman to do so would be akin to the man who claims to be going to a strip club for that purpose. It's clear from the above figures that women's spending dominates the book-publishing industry and that influence is growing rather than remaining static or diminishing. Could the increasing demand for female erotica be symptomatic of the success by women of persuading men to be less like their erotic ideal?
The Git would also like to note that he is not complaining about women having more power than men. His beef is that it's accompanied by unsustainable claims to the contrary.
Thought for the day:
In erotica geared toward men, women are typically depicted as lusty, aggressive, and enjoying sex for sex's sake, without emotional attachments or courtship. In erotica geared toward women -- that is romance novels -- sex is part of a greater theme of love, where a man is consumed emotionally by passion for the heroine and no one else. For the heroine, sex is not an act of submission but an act of control, as she masters her man's emotional fate. In other words, erotic materials for both men and women typically present the opposite sex as a caricature of the consumer's own sexuality.
Gong -- Floating Anarchy
Home | Previous | Next | Old Ephemerides |Site Map|Top
Bookmarking these pages
|www.sturmsoft.com/Writing/current.htm||Use this, or the home page when suggesting people visit this site. This is where I put important notices as I feel they are needed.|
|www.sturmsoft.com/Writing/diatribe.htm||Like the old redirector but with no delay. This is for regular readers of The Daily Diatribe.|
Franklin & Friends, a website devoted to the village where the author lives: its culture, inhabitants, and more.
The DayNotes Gang for more daily musings on Life, the Universe and Things Computerish.
© Jonathan Sturm 2002