Thursday, March 09, 2006


An interesting email from a British reader responding to the public denials of IQ differences

I live in big Birmingham, and I initiate conversations with people at bus stops, in shop queues etc, with ordinaryish people (of the right half of the bell curve, to be sure). There's the world as seen through the media and written world, and there's the world of talking personally to people, and they don't match. There's a lot more understanding and knowledge out there than may seem, because it doesnt get publicised and doesn't shout out individually either.

That's why the Soviet Union collapsed so suddenly, because what the people were saying in private was very different from what Pravda was saying. And likewise, a significant proportion of "Muslims" are just pretending to be true believers. And likewise, check any matchmaking setup, ask almost any woman, and she is looking for an "intelligent" man. Ditto employers.

PC is too utterly ridiculous, too utterly divorced from reality, to have any prospect as an enduring religion. And yet it appears to be more powerful than it is, because as with those other examples, there are incentives for parrotting the PC-party line, in contrast to strong DISincentives against speaking against it. It currently holds the purse-strings and levers of power.

But as soon as something so reality-defying becomes the orthodoxy its days are numbered. As in the Soviet Union, people aren't SAYING it is ridiculous, and yet you can rest assured that many are secretly THINKING it!

The myth of the tiny proportion: So there seem to be just a handful of people who are anywhere near a sound understanding. But surely it has ever been thus. In previous centuries there was just the odd Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, etc. More recently there has grown up an enormous irrelevance, a huge mega-industrialised pseudo-scholarship of professional publish or perish.

Like Copernicus, genuine science has just about always been a non-professional undertaking oppresssed by institutions. The universities in UK at least are already in the process of making themselves irrelevant (companies no longer find degrees a useful criterion). They are slowly on the way out. Michel Bauwens envisages p2p, blogs etc as the new civilisational basis.

And meanwhile how few are understanders anyway? I used to think that I must be the greatest living genius (there is substantial grounds for that view!). But then I considered that approximately no-one knows about my achievements, so therefore in turn there could be thousands of equally-talented, equally-achieving others who are equally great geniuses but equally unnoticed.

The PC dominance seems to have started with an abrupt switch at 1945, reversing a fairly quick change from 19th century multiculturism. The BNP and similar parties have been rocketing from nowhere. Meanwhile the PC brigade are getting enmeshed in some pathetic tangles post-9/11. The scene could change rather rapidly again.


They were offended by claims that they seek special treatment and then proceeded to seek and get special treatment

A student's column in the Oregon State University campus newspaper has prompted protests by Muslim students, who say it is offensive to their faith. The piece headlined "The Islamic Double Standard" was written by OSU microbiology student Nathanael Blake and published in the Daily Barometer on Feb. 8. The column accused Muslims of expecting special treatment after a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Riots over the cartoons amounted to "savagery," Blake said. "Bluntly put, we expect Muslims to behave barbarously," his column said.

On Thursday, about a dozen students - including members of Muslim and Arab student groups - held a vigil on the campus to protest both Blake's piece and the Danish cartoons. They handed out flyers that stated "While staying loyal to the main values of freedom of expression that founded this country, we also feel the need to reflect on the values of tolerance and acceptance on this campus." Among the students offended by the column was Nada Mohamed, a 20-year-old junior and the vice president of OSU's Muslim Student Association. "It was amazing to me that they (the campus newspaper) were allowed to publish this kind of stuff," she told the Corvallis Gazette-Times. "Tears were flowing out of my eyes as I was reading," she said. "I felt like somebody was ripping my heart out."

At the Daily Barometer, editors said e-mail and phone calls poured in. Senior editors have met with the Muslim Student Association. "The pain that it caused ... did not subside with time," said DD Bixby, the Barometer's editor-in-chief. "It kind of just festered." She said editors have been checking copy with Muslim students, and on Tuesday deleted one paragraph from a piece scheduled to be published the next day.

Bixby said her staffers are "all pretty much Oregon-type kids" who knew little about Islam and didn't foresee how people would respond to the column. Blake said that he expected a reaction, but, "I didn't expect it to be this prolonged or this strong."

On Feb. 14, Nada Mohamed's brother, Aly Mohamed, who heads the university's Muslim Student Association, fired back with an op-ed piece titled, "Whose double standard? A response on Islam, Muslims." "It is quite sad to see the Daily Barometer follow our less-than-civil European media outlets," Mohamed wrote. "There is a lack of distinction between orthodox Islamic values and the actions of a minority of Muslims."

On the same day, Bixby published a piece defending her columnist and the paper's decision to publish the column. "For me," she wrote, "it would be journalistically irresponsible to only print columns with which no one disagreed."


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