Things that make me want to go “Shaddup!”

First, we have an evolutionary psychologist who equates questioning her theories of gender differences to attacking evolutionary theory itself (this links to quotes and a dissection—I lost the link to the piece itself).
Not hardly. Believing in evolution doesn’t require believing in any specific evolutionary theory. Countless theories have been proposed and discarded (Lamarckianism, lysenkoism, mutationism) or proposed and debated (Stephen Jay Gould’s belief in “punctuated equilibrium”) without dislodging evolution itself. Even within evolutionary psychology, not everyone agrees on what the facts are (as the book Adapting Minds points out).
Second, the scientist in question scoffs at the possibility women in science are discriminated against when it’s clearly due to innate gender differences. (“The science-free policy that this generates is epitomised by the ‘women into science’ lobby, which is posited on a ‘bias and barriers’ assumption and an a priori rejection of—yes, the science of sex differences.”). As I noted here, this is a popular argument with right-wingers: If women are innately inferior in some field (or all fields) then obviously there is no discrimination in that field (I dispatch this bullshit at the link).
•In response to a profile of a slightly pathetic gun advocate (the kind of oh-so-tough-guy who’s constantly prepared for a blazing firefight, even though he’s never had to use his gun), we get this section from the original article, regarding a discussion of suicide by gun: “Why should society be organized to stop those suicides?” he says. “Do we as a society intervene to prevent people from hurting themselves? Freedom isn’t free. People are going to die. People die all the time.”
This, again, sounds familiar. When I pointed out in columns that we’d lost more troops in Iraq than we lost Americans on 9/11, commenters would inform me that it wasn’t even as much as we lose in traffic deaths in a year (and these are people who shriek about supporting the troops …). By that logic, why the hell did we make a fuss about all the 9/11 deaths?
As to the specific responses—People are going to die? Freedom isn’t free? What we’re talking about is people who are in many cases depressed, mentally ill, maybe PTSDed. This is not someone asserting right-to-die, these are people in pain who need help. Which this gentleman apparently thinks is irrelevant next to his desire to possess guns and fantasize about his action-movie future.
Not that it’s a unique viewpoint to gun lovers. Not long after River Phoenix died of a drug overdose, I had to listen to an Ayn Rand fan bitch about how dare we even think about taking away Phoenix’ right to decide whether lived or died. As I pointed out, it was not a decision, it was a drug overdose. That is a tragic thing, regardless who it happens to, regardless of drug policy, regardless of anything. Infusing it with nobility like it was some old movie (“I cannot pay my debts. I must take the honorable way out.”) is moronic.
•As pointed out here, the Post Office isn’t ending Saturday service because FedEx and UPS and the Internet have conquered it. It’s happening because under Bush II, the Post Office has to have funding now for retiree health benefits for the next 75 years. Yep, people who aren’t even hired, let alone retired, have to be paid for. Because making government work worse is what Republicans do.
In other links:
•The AR-15 is actually a lousy hunting rifle, but it does make a greatsubstitute penis.
•A cable company caps customers’ data use then quite coincidentally suggests that they use the company’s on-demand movie service instead of streaming Netflix.
•A couple more links on Obama’s assassination policy.


Filed under economics, Politics

2 responses to “Things that make me want to go “Shaddup!”

    • frasersherman

      She’s dead on about the stereotype threat. Studies have found that whether a task is identified as better suited for women or men can have a big difference on both sexes’ performance.

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