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April 23, 2014, 02:42:03 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Survey Shows that 51% of Americans Question the 'Big Bang Theory' on: Today at 09:38:59 am
Here is a graphic from a more expansive version of that article:



Notice anything?

No mention that the second of those is controversial. I probably would have been one of the 6% there (or more likely, say nothing at all). The third one too, is open to interpretation.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: is the preceding atlasian more conservative or more liberal than your rep.? on: April 22, 2014, 05:20:31 pm
Given that he's from Belfast: Liberal by definition. Even if he lives in East Belfast, but given that's he a Catholic that seems rather unlikely.... (You're from South Belfast, no?)

EDIT: Misread the thread. Well, I have five reps. But again 'Belfast' - so probably 'liberal' in practice. Especially now that I know he's from North Belfast.
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: 67th Academy Awards-Best Picture on: April 22, 2014, 05:19:18 pm
Write-In: Heavenly Creatures

(Admittedly, I haven't seen Quiz Show)
4  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say on: April 22, 2014, 05:07:12 pm
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Read the original article.  It's a dumb premise for a historian to answer that question.  Also, it's probably 99% the journalist's fault for taking someone's research out of context for their own conservative machinations.

What about an anthropologist who specializes in the Etoro people of Papua New Guinea?

Anyway the idea that it's not an area of potential study for historians is absurd. The thesis is "Homosexuality is an orientation which is at a fixed level in the population, is immutable and is unchanged by cultural or social variation" therefore obviously historians have a lot to say on this given it is they who study cultural and social variation in the past(and there quite a lot of historians who have defended the essentialist position btw).

Quote
On my somewhat audacious condemnation of university humanities departments, I get that I'm probably overstating the case.  There are plenty of great academics in sociology, history, women's studies and the various amorphous " XYZ studies."  However, I do find them overly-politicized and cult-like in assailing the idea of biological, geographic, geological, hard science relevance to the study of their own subjects.  There is a serious problem of excessive post-modernism, gender and race victimhood and denial of any scholarship not based on run-on sentences, so to speak.  That's my underlying problem and it's born of having gone to a couple of elite colleges where a lot of smart people foam at the mouth about things like white privilege and neo-colonialism.  It's an inchoate complaint, I admit, but it bothers me.

Most of these things were not mentioned by anyone in the thread (although, admittedly, they do exist although from my perspective at least they are MUCH less prevalent than in the 90s).

Now my turn to be controversial, whatever the problems of a lot of Foucault/deconstructionist inspired historiography, it is still in the scope of things a very minor intellectual phenomenon which has not been of great external consequences. Meanwhile in the Corporate-Liberal STEM-type social sciences of which Nathan spoke earlier it is actually a running competition between economics and psychology as to which has done more damage not just in intellectual life but much more consequently in health, education and government policy (i.e. the things which affect all of us). Right now economics is currently in front in the damage stakes, but it can't be long before psychology catches up (Neuroscientists say the darnest things, don't they?). Let's me clear I'm not talking about disputes such as those on internet forums, I'm talking about actual crimes - crimes against people and society. The history of both disciplines makes one wonder whether we would better off if government just stopped funding them and they die a death.
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Captain Planet solves The Troubles on: April 22, 2014, 04:52:57 pm
How does that old joke end again? Ah yes. "Are you a Prod Jew or a Taig Jew?"

Segregation between the two 'communities' (what a ridiculous word in this context) is actually more marked than it was during the civil war.

Yes. This.

Guntaker may think of himself as an 'ex-catholic' for all political and 'community' purposes (and that's what matters in NI, this has nothing to do with religion) there's no 'ex' to it. (I might believe otherwise if Guntaker indicated an interest in voting for the DUP or UUP).
I think you misunderstood me here, I am an ex catholic in the sense that I used to be a Catholic, but now I'm an athiest, I'm still a Liberal and wouldn't vote for either the DUP or UUP (As both of them are arses), though I'm a tiny bit more relegated in Dissolution than people I know.

Oh, so then for political purposes you are essentially a Catholic. Right, cleared that up then.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 22, 2014, 04:41:03 pm
But still though:



At least they can say they inspired Pharrell...

I see your 2007 and raise you:



They should have run on the Celtic Snail.
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Captain Planet solves The Troubles on: April 22, 2014, 04:39:21 pm
How does that old joke end again? Ah yes. "Are you a Prod Jew or a Taig Jew?"

Segregation between the two 'communities' (what a ridiculous word in this context) is actually more marked than it was during the civil war.

Yes. This.

Guntaker may think of himself as an 'ex-catholic' for all political and 'community' purposes (and that's what matters in NI, this has nothing to do with religion) there's no 'ex' to it. (I might believe otherwise if Guntaker indicated an interest in voting for the DUP or UUP).

BRTD, I never said anything about religious identification in the US.
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Captain Planet solves The Troubles on: April 22, 2014, 08:47:58 am
As an Ex Catholic who is from Belfast, let me clarify that a crappy 80's Cartoon show by Ted Turner is not an accurate representation of Catholic/Protestant relations in the city. Shocking news, I know.

There's no such thing as "Ex Catholics" from Belfast.
9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say on: April 21, 2014, 06:03:37 pm
You won't convince them. They have read Foucault. They are 'sage'

Sexual preference; choosing desirable characteristics in a mate is not the same as sexual orientation or sexual drive. You and I know this. It's not f-cking rocket science but constructionists go insane with it. As I said before if you say to someone who is heterosexual your sexual attraction to thefemale is a nothing more than a social construct because you happen to prefer afemale with 36DD breasts or a female with wooden cleft in her pallet and access to 36 goats you will be met, rightfully with ill concealed laughter.

My position has a lot less to do with Foucault than you imagine, and a lot more to do with the practical goal of maximizing rights and freedoms, than you imagine. 

The fact that we have a "gay" identity now, and we didn't hundreds of years ago, is intimately connected with, and in fact a prerequisite to, the rights you enjoy and the ability you have to express your sexuality freely and naturally.

And, yes, the idea of "heterosexuality" as a distinct category is constructed as well.  If people are trying to argue that one is but the other isn't, well then that would be gibberish, and offensive gibberish at that.  Luckily nobody is doing such a thing, not here at least.

That's not the issue.  "Heterosexuality" is a term that categorizes a set of sexual desires which occur in human beings because of their genetic and hormonal makeup.  Maybe the better word for what we mean is "heterosexual desire" or lust.  The same goes for homosexuality.  The desire for sex and intimacy is an innate impulse in humans due to their biology.  How people act on their desire, what words we use to describe it, the particulars of what is attractive in a man or woman, sure, that's influenced by society a great deal.  But, where someone sits on the spectrum of heterosexual/homosexual is not very influenced at all by society.  Do you disagree?

It has previously been suggested that humans are not by nature sexually attracted to other human beings.  Basically, that human nature is to be a masturbating loner, but society has taught us that having sex is desirable activity.  That is ridiculous.  I find that idea fundamentally dehumanizing because it is opposed to the basic nature of the species I belong to.

Just an added line of argument:

Would anyone say, "nobody is born with autism?"  After all, autistic people used to just be called dumb or cretinous or idiotic.  So, autism is a social construct and nobody is born with autism.

Bad argument as there is no definitive definition of autism is. Indeed, defining Autism is exceptionally controversial and changes in diagnosis may have led to a massive increase in diagnosis with now 1 in 68 males in the US diagnosed with some form of it.

Mental health diagnosis are notoriously unreliable so it's a bad idea to base arguments on innateness on them. Which isn't to say there aren't kids around with have traits which equate very strongly to what we call autism.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: SWEDEN - Super election year 2014 - GUIDE and THREAD on: April 21, 2014, 05:13:47 pm
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Given that, I prefer them to the smug middle-class social engineering attitudes of FP.

Of course they have.

Edit: QUESTION - if C or KD fall out of parliament will that basically be the end for them?
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 05:12:20 pm
Labour's 2007 campaign was perhaps the most cringeworthy campaign by a political party* in modern Irish political history although I'm aware that there's great competition for the title.

(* - speaking of Stamp duty who can forget the blatant boosterism of the Sindo's campaign to abolish it during the 2007 campaign? Thinking about it for a minute makes me glad for a moment that the bubble popped as ingloriously as it did).

No, I think FG's 2002 "compensate taxi drivers and Eircom shareholders" campaign takes that particular crown, and even FG's 2007 "Sign The Contract!!!" effort runs it close. But to quote the 2007 Labour leader, "isn't that the kind of thing that you tend to say during elections?".

It does make it easier to understand how FF won three successive elections when that was the opposition.

Oh god.... I had forgotten about that. But still though:

12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: In what decade were your parents born? on: April 21, 2014, 04:46:16 pm
Both were born in 1956
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 04:42:10 pm
This is a country in which a Labour-PD swing voter was actually a thing once.

I can imagine the sort of creature that might be (social liberal but hands off my wallet), and imagine most of them would have lived up your direction.

Sexton herself wouldn't fit particularly well into either of the parties she was a member of.

I believe (I don't have the data on me) that there was at least by 2002 a surprising strong tendency for transfers of one party to go to the other. And yes, they would have been mostly around here but then again by 2002 the PDs as a party organization were essentially restricted to around here and the O'Malley legacy vote in Limerick.

Plus the Molloy legacy vote in Galway (which has outlasted everything else).

And who can forget the 2007 election, where Labour promised more and bigger income tax cuts than everyone else, and the PDs promised to increase the old-age pension to €300 and abolish stamp duty "because we don't need the money" ((c) M. McDowell)?

Labour's 2007 campaign was perhaps the most cringeworthy campaign by a political party* in modern Irish political history although I'm aware that there's great competition for the title.

(* - speaking of Stamp duty who can forget the blatant boosterism of the Sindo's campaign to abolish it during the 2007 campaign? Thinking about it for a minute makes me glad for a moment that the bubble popped as ingloriously as it did).
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 04:21:46 pm
This is a country in which a Labour-PD swing voter was actually a thing once.

I can imagine the sort of creature that might be (social liberal but hands off my wallet), and imagine most of them would have lived up your direction.

Sexton herself wouldn't fit particularly well into either of the parties she was a member of.

I believe (I don't have the data on me) that there was at least by 2002 a surprising strong tendency for transfers of one party to go to the other. And yes, they would have been mostly around here but then again by 2002 the PDs as a party organization were essentially restricted to around here and the O'Malley legacy vote in Limerick.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: SWEDEN - Super election year 2014 - GUIDE and THREAD on: April 21, 2014, 04:10:33 pm
The whole trick in Gustaf is his aversion of EU compared to his context.

Oh right, of course. Didn't think of that.

16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 04:09:53 pm
Box-by-box tallies for Longford-Westmeath from the 2011 election:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By9DLhLl2w63QzQ3VkZ3ZFlNSFU

In short, FG won almost everwhere.
Only exceptions are in Longford EA. More specifically, a tie in Glack with Labour, and Labour wins in Longford Rural and Longford Urban Central.

These places are all in Longford Town. They voted Labour because Mae Sexton (Labour) is from Glack. I'm sure they also voted for Mae Sexton (PD) in 2002 when she got elected on the other side of the political spectrum. This is a good illustration of how weakly party affiliation determines voting in Ireland, especially in rural areas.

Mae Sexton has had the sort of career trajectory only a TD could have.

She's not actually moved that much if at all - she's just had different party labels slapped on her at different times (Labour had already been wooing her in the mid 90s before the PDs intervened).

Exactly.

This is a country in which a Labour-PD swing voter was actually a thing once.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: SWEDEN - Super election year 2014 - GUIDE and THREAD on: April 21, 2014, 03:53:02 pm
I am as of yet undecided. I know I won't vote SD, V or FP but anything else is still possible.

Why not the FP? Judging from wiki (I know, I know), they seem like your kind of thing.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 03:50:35 pm
In the event of a YES vote, why can't it be agreed that none of the parties run in Scotland and nominal SNP candidates will run in all constituencies unopposed under the proviso that they won't take their seats?
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 03:44:38 pm
I realise now that my choice of language was poor. Longford town isn't very rural, though Sexton's electoral base is more the rural outskirts rather than the estates of resettled Dublin council tenants; I should have said "areas of Ireland outside major cities" tend to overlook party affiliation.

To a large degree it's "areas of Ireland outside Dublin" but I'm just repeating what you said.
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say on: April 21, 2014, 03:41:38 pm
If I were up to it, I would try to defend the constructionist thesis but I'm lazy. So I would just say one, if we were holding an essentialist position* we would have to explain the reasons for which the historical and anthropological actually seems to contradict this. Of course an ethnography or historical report can never be scientific in the way, say, a population-quantitative analysis can be (Is that bad?) but it's also clear that historians and anthropologists are not creating things out of thin air. Well, except the most demented of Foucault admirers.

(* - As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the claims for the innatist position are based on twin studies. But even the highest twin studies afaik record that in cases of identical twins if one is gay there is only a 52% chance that the other one is. Given that identical twins are supposed to be identical genetically, if homosexuality was purely genetic than that number should be 100%. This suggests that biology of it is more complex than most are willing to admit. There's also a problem of trying to explain how homosexuality could exist under standard evolutionary theory which suggests that such a trait - that isn't passed on to offspring - could exist. There's a lot of "It stands for reason" going on here on both sides. And reason, like common sense, is the collection of prejudices we all get by the age of 18)



Angela and Maria Eagle, identical twins and English politicians - both are Labour MPs for constituencies in Merseyside, both are keen chess players... yet one is a lesbian and the other is straight

Ftr, my position on this is "who cares, really?" But I will admit that I find the notion of sexual identity highly dubious.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 21, 2014, 03:26:51 pm
Box-by-box tallies for Longford-Westmeath from the 2011 election:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By9DLhLl2w63QzQ3VkZ3ZFlNSFU

In short, FG won almost everwhere.
Only exceptions are in Longford EA. More specifically, a tie in Glack with Labour, and Labour wins in Longford Rural and Longford Urban Central.

These places are all in Longford Town. They voted Labour because Mae Sexton (Labour) is from Glack. I'm sure they also voted for Mae Sexton (PD) in 2002 when she got elected on the other side of the political spectrum. This is a good illustration of how weakly party affiliation determines voting in Ireland, especially in rural areas.

Mae Sexton has had the sort of career trajectory only a TD could have.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who here has political ambitions? on: April 21, 2014, 03:25:53 pm
Relevant hilarious point: Eamon Gilmore once told me that I could be leader of the Labour Party some day. Granted, he presumably told a lot of people that but I think it says a lot about why the current government is at record lows in the polls given his apparently awful sense of judgement.

That's one of the greatest things I've ever heard.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 19, 2014, 10:39:16 pm
Box-by-box tallies for Longford-Westmeath from the 2011 election:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By9DLhLl2w63QzQ3VkZ3ZFlNSFU

It's the results of the Longford part of Longford-Westmeath.

Go down to page 20.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the previous poster's ideology on: April 19, 2014, 10:34:35 pm
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25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ireland by-elections, 2014 on: April 19, 2014, 10:16:08 pm
Box-by-box tallies for Longford-Westmeath from the 2011 election:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By9DLhLl2w63QzQ3VkZ3ZFlNSFU

Where did you get this?
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