Nuh uh! Nuh uh nuh uh nuh uh! Racist! Nuh uh!

“As a result of these disparate admissions standards, many students spend four years in a social environment where race conveys useful information about the academic capacity of their peers.” — Hard Truths About Race on Campus, by Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim

Clearly what’s needed is a generously funded graduate center to support a program to give students the tools to successfully ignore this kind of “information.”

UPDATE 19 May 2016: Gist: college policies to promote Diversity cause the racism they seek to eliminate.

An aesthetic conflict

In Neal Stephenson’s novel Reamde, there’s an MMORPG called T’Rain. There are quests and adventures within a foundational narrative of standard D&D good and evil. Players can customize their character’s appearance, and a hack lets them use whatever colors they want instead of the colors chosen by the designers. Some people keep the default muted browns and greens, while others dress their dark-elf warrior-mage in, for instance, acid yellow chaps, fluorescent green dinner jacket, and red panama hat. There’s a strong element of social class in who chooses bright colors and who chooses earth-tone colors.

In a secondary story line, war arises between the “forces of brightness” and the “earth-tone coalition.” Though it has no basis in the game’s narrative, this conflict over-rides the good vs. evil back-story. Brightly dressed orcs and brightly dressed elves join forces to attack characters dressed in earth tones, even ambushing players in their own raiding party.

The current presidential campaign may be about aesthetics more than policy. It’s probably not really the case that everything the candidates say is a lie, but certainly what they say has nothing at all to do with what will happen if they’re elected. Once every voter knows that, what’s left? Who tells the lie I like best, who is most electable, who do I least want to see and hear for the next four years.

Trump is wearing a shiny suit and florescent orange sombrero, Sanders a yellow argyle sweater-vest and fire-engine red Tyrolean, and Clinton a dark pant suit and a black hat with a wide brim and conical crown.

Anyway, Reamde is an excellent action adventure novel with engaging characters and an ingenious plot. It’s way more entertaining than the current election cycle.

Trump and hate

The Republican party is now more hated than it’s been in 24 years because of Donald Trump, it says in the paper.

Now I don’t much like Donald Trump, but is it his fault people hate Republicans? It seems like there might be more to it. There’s this, just for a recent example: Congress moves to require women to register for military draft. That would be the Republican congress, right? Republican politicians have embraced political correctness, labored to compromise, and brought forth Trump. And Trump’s popularity has grown partly because of his opponents, like these Mexican-flag-waving rioters. They don’t like Trump either.

But I just don’t understand, the LA Times explains:

“…in Santa Ana, a group that was part of the anti-Trump demonstrations Thursday, said the presence of the Mexican flag at rallies and other gatherings is often misunderstood.

“While many may see it as un-American, the Mexican flag is actually used to express diversity within the United States, especially in California, where many are of Mexican heritage, the activist [David B. Villanueva, 23, of Chicanos Unidos] said.

“‘Protesters chose to bring out the Mexican flag to demonstrate their culture and not their nationality,’ Villanueva said. ‘In this election year, I find the fact that people are waving Mexican flags more important than people waving American flags because of the diversity within our own American culture.'”

Sure; it’s about culture and heritage, just like the confederate flag.

People don’t hate Republicans because of Trump; and they didn’t turn to Trump because they hated the Republicans. But hate is the reason. People turned to Trump because the Republicans hate them.

Gender attitudes

A guest post by Claudio Natsheh-Yamaguchi

I’m tired of this cant about “a woman in a man’s body.” If you’re a woman, cis or trans, then the body you’re in is a woman’s body. Saying otherwise de-legitimalizes trans women in favor of their cis-ters, implying that trans women are somehow less authentically female.

And don’t give me any nonsense about “presenting as a woman.” If you’re a woman, how you choose to present yourself is just one of the many ways that a woman can authentically choose to present herself. None of these choices is less feminine than another. If you want to dress like your mother, go ahead. But don’t tell me that how you and your mother dress is how all women dress.

Stop privileging so-called “birth gender.” You do a disservice to all of us. Everyone is unique. If you’re a woman in a man’s body, or a man in a woman’s body, you can wear a sun dress and high heeled shoes, or you can wear jeans, boots, and a greasy t-shirt. Both choices, and any others, are as authentically masculine or feminine as you are.

UPDATE 3 May 2016: 7 Troubling Questions About Transgender Theories. The least experienced activist can easily answer all of these with one word.

ESPN

“What a joy it must be to be a leftist knucklehead. There’s your opinion – and then there’s hate. There’s free speech for all – except those who disagree with you. There’s tolerance for everyone – except the opposition. There’s every kind of diversity – except diversity of thought.” — UnAmerican ESPN, by Andrew Klavan