27 April 2010


An impoverished John Milton sold the copyright to Paradise Lost for £10 in 1667.  Beethoven composed Für Elise in 1810.  The foundation stone was laid for the Palace of Westminster in 1840.  The riverboat Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River in 1865, killing 1700.  Most of the dead were Union soldiers, survivors of the Andersonville and Cahaba prisoner of war camps.  Expo 67 opened in Montreal.  Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of the House of Commons in 1992.  Zambia's national football team was killed in an airplane crash on its way to Senegal for a World Cup qualifying match in 1993.

Born today: Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), Anouk Aimée (1932), Kate Pierson (1948), Sheena Easton (1959), Russell T. Davies (1963) and Darcy Bussell (1969).

It is National War Veterans' Day in Finland.


  1. Morning all. I am obviously reading too much about the election. My dreams last night involved adding Vince Cable as a named user in a config file on my servers.

  2. Now, can anyone tell my why it makes me feel old to think that someone else is turning 62 today?

  3. I know what you mean, Montana!

  4. Montana: the trick is to feel young when you turn 62. I was not doing too well on that score when i turned 53.

  5. Happy new week, dearest Untrusted ones!

    Just had a look at that Hilary Lawson piece from yesterday; "philosophical tradition that privileges male rationality" - does this mean there is a male rationality and a different, female rationality? Or does it mean that rationality is in and of itself "male"? Whichever it is, it surely sounds like a good excuse for logically inconsistent theories ...

    Lawson comes across as quite an intelligent chap; too bad he somewhat ruins it by admitting he invited Bidisha to speak. I hope he learns his lessons from this festival, where only about one in six women who were invited agreed to speak, and asks six times as many women as men to speak at the next festival.

  6. elementary_watson: PeterJ said on yesterday's thread that he knew him from years ago -- poor opinion.

  7. Yeah, saw it afterwards. I don't think I should have read that whole damn thread, there was something quite enraging in some of the comments criticizing Lawson (who may well be an arsehole) for not trying hard enough to get female speakers. As any PUA (pick up artist) can tell you, desperately pursuing women is very unattractive and makes them retreat even more.

    Se what I did here? Reffering to PUAs on a gender question. Like I said, I shouldn't have read that goddamn thread ...

  8. Re: Hilary Lawson thread -

    'uncommenter'said at 5:32pm yesterday
    Philosophy is the love of wisdom. The heart is the love organ. Men are biologically different to women, having larger interior organs including the heart. Hence men have a greater capacity for love than feminism; and usually, it is the men who have had their love lives ruined by feminism (the list of philosophers in this category is long) who turn to love wisdom, than look for more heartbreak.

    I can't make any sense out of that! The convolutions indulged in by some male supremacists eh!

    That almost out Bidisha'd Bidisha imho

  9. "philosophical tradition that privileges male rationality"

    That was a little odd, yes. If philosophy was based on intuition rather than rationality, or attempted rationality, it would no longer be philosophy (not that intuition doesnt play a certain role in the discourse - it does).

    Sokal makes a good argument on the subject of ideas like this, the "privileging of the male" in science: either science is inherently male or else it isnt, in which case science derived from this male privileging is incorrect, and an enlightened, gender neutral scientist should be able to show why the science is wrong/doesnt work. So far no one has done this - most science "works", its how we put planes in the sky, submarines on the ocean bed and satellites in space.

  10. annetan, I didn't make it beyond "Men are biologically different"; I already supposed the commenter was some weirdo with his "the heart is the love organ", but the "biological differences" made it totally clear that there was no worthwhile stuff following in his comment.

    But say what you will, there goes one man who definitely doesn't think by the dictates of "male rationality". And as long as he cannot coin phrases like "romantic androcide" for the heartbreak men suffered because of feminism, he's nowhere in the same league as Bidisha, whose rhetoric at least is entertainingly over the top.

    Jay: Of course, were the female scientists not educated with the male mind set as the scientific default, they *would* be able to show that science is wrong. The argument that planes do fly etc., by the way, is only blind pragmatism, I was told. However, no one was quite able why I should stop believing in pragmatism and start believing in concepts like "theoretical plausibility".

  11. It's the quintessence, Watson. The mysterious fifth force that powers the universe. Gravity, electro-magnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces and, strongest of them all, the patriarchal force.

  12. Your Lordship, it is painfully obvious that you are still living in the world of yesteryear. As Eve Ensler very correctly has pointed out, the strongest (and fifth) force in the universe is "girl". Patriarchy is a social institution to force this force into submission, as male scientists already did with electro-magnetism and the other forces, to devastating results.

    And don't anyone dare to accuse me of hypocrisy, just because I'm railing against the electro-magnetic force-enslaving devices using a computer. That argument would be so tired ...

  13. "However, no one was quite able why I should stop believing in pragmatism and start believing in concepts like "theoretical plausibility"."

    Very odd argument. Presumably even the most dogmatic gender warriors would concede that science attempts to make theories only so far as they map to the real world (arguments about the nature of "real" notwithstanding).

    Would they not find themselves saying "yes the plane seems to fly, i seem to have arrived half way round the world, but thats such a pragmatic, male approach. MsScientist, on the other than, has a theoretically plausible model of flight based on female intuition".

    "But does it fly, did you land in New York?"

    "No, but its theoretically plausible."

    "But doesnt work in practice..."

    All fair enough, but it isnt science. Weird arguments.

  14. @Jay, @Elementary, @Anne (and anybody else, really)

    You might be interested in this piece from a couple of years ago, about the attempted feminisation of science in the US.

  15. Piers Anthony claims the weakest force is Magic, but it can opperate remotely and at times unlimited by distance...

  16. Jay, IIRC the person I had this discussion with was male. I didn't mean to imply that the "blind pragmatism" argument was specifically feminist, I should have put that into a separate paragraph.

    I am pretty aware that the more fundamental the foundations of human thinking get, the more unprovable the correctness of these foundation becomes. This means that, while I certainly consider non-falsifiable theories to be rubbish, I couldn't make a good counter argument against someone rejecting falsifiability as a criterion for sensible theories.

    PeterJ: Thanks for the link, will look at it.

  17. You been reading the Xanth books, turminder?

  18. elementary
    "a philosophical tradition that privileges male rationality" - bloody poor choice of words - maybe should have had 'male' like that, in speech marks...does sound like an academic way of saing 'aw, female intuition, sweet', which grated a bit. he seemed to be going there at the end:
    "Is it that philosophy embeds a male mode of thinking, a phallogocentrism, that discourages women? Is it that the cultural framework frightens women from being involved? Is it that women are put off by male bullishness in debates? Or are academic institutions themselves guilty of inbuilt and defiant sexism?"
    Is there really such a thing as a 'male mode of thinking'? And I have no idea what the 'cultural framework' he refers to is, nor why it should 'frighten' (another poor choice of words).

    On education threads, some people go on a lot about 'male' and 'female' ways of learning (normally to decry the 'feminisation' of assessment) - does this really exist? I mean, I can sort of see the difference between rational/scientific and intuitive/artistic thought processes, but a) these don't seem to me to be necessarily gender-defined and b) they are only 'leanings', putting everyone somewhere on the scale - after all even the artiest arty-pants needs some rational / factual basis (even mathematical - perspective, metre, etc) and all the scientists I know are enthused about their work because they find it beautiful, fascinating on a personal level, rather than just 'right'.

    But that's entirely based on my own observations so is an intuitive, and therefore very female, way of looking at the issue. Where's that knitting pattern?

  19. Xanth a long time ago LordS, the 'Aspects of Imortality' (or summat) is where he puts that gem forward, the novels are so so, but the wee letter from the author at the back of each was great...

  20. Tin hats on, everyone; Cif has just posted a Mark Vernon piece suggesting that atheism=nihilism, and that all we jolly hedonists really need the smack of firm moral government and the fear of God. Using Peter Hitchens and Terry Eagleton as his guides.

    I reckon it'll break 200 slaggings-off by lunchtime.

  21. Philippa: I guess there are different ways of learning, and that some are more prominent among male people, and the other more prominent among female people; in order to be more girl-friendly, so the theory goes, education became extremely well suited to the ways more prominent among girls, but ill-suited to the ways more prominent among boys.

    Which means that it is not *boys* who suffer from the change in education style, but *all* children of *either* gender or sex or whatever whose ways of learning differ from those the education is suited for.

  22. And Phil, I just found the sequence 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14 which has an extremely beautiful property, so yeah, egg-heads do enjoy aesthetic aspects of their work (well, I do, at least) :-)

  23. elementary - good, so I'm not totally off the scale then! just always strikes me as odd when people say 'boys like exams, girls like coursework'. feels like they're saying I'm a boy. Nowt wrong with that, of course, apart from it not beeing the case...

  24. Ah, the Incarnations Of Immortality trilogy .. now up to eight books! I read the first three (or maybe four) back in the day. It's one of those series I always intended on getting around to finishing but never did.

  25. Good day everyone.

    I am a bit spaced out at the moment, trying to reach a state of zen like calmness. Turns out I have lost my 10 week bus ticket yesterday, worth £70 quid, after only a week's use. At first I went crazy, but there is no point getting worked up about it, what's done is done. You just have to look at it rationally, I still have my health, a roof over my head and my mind. So, basically I wasted last night, I just collapsed on my bed. Felt really bad. Sleeping it off, I feel better.

    Other than that, I haven't really been eating so much, I don't really have an appetite. Today, I have had two cups of tea and four hobnobs. That will do me until this evening.

  26. You have to read Patrick Ness Chaos Walking, LordS, book 3 just out!

    Nap, can't you get a replacement tkt? Bad luck! Go to a Sikh Temple on sunday, free delish veggie food!

    4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14

    Ages of Micheal Jacksons sexual partners?

  27. Turminder, not only was this comment in totally bad taste, it also is totally dated.

  28. Fascinating article, PeterJ - so many familiar themes...

    "Readers are told in the summary report that women fac­ulty “proved to be underpaid.” But we also learn that the “salary data are confidential and were not provided to the committee.” So on what basis did they conclude there were salary dis­parities? Hopkins and the other authors explain, “Possible inequities in salary are flagged by the committee from the limited data available to it.” But “possible” soon became “actual,” and by the time it reached President Clinton it had morphed into “cold, hard facts.”

    "The report claimed that the prob­lems confronting women faculty were universal, but the sum­mary concedes, “Junior women felt included and supported by their departments.” Instead of acknowledging that the problem might be generational and con­fined to a small group of senior women from three departments, Hopkins and the other authors of the report claimed that the junior women were naïve and simply did not know what was in store for them"

    "When a reporter from The Chronicle of Higher Education asked Mary-Lou Pardue, an MIT biology professor who was among those who originally complained to the dean, about all the irregularities and the absence of data, she replied, “This wasn’t meant to be a study for the rest of the world. It was meant to be a study for us…. We weren’t trying to prove any­thing to the world.”"

    (sounds just like Bindels Poppy Project - "its not supposed to be an academic study", or any of the myriad posts, "The actual numbers dont matter")

  29. Sigh,

    Just goes to prove that all generalisations are wrong.....

    The point is it doesn't matter when hiring an individual whether men are on average more analytical than women, or women are on average better at multitasking than men, or whatever, the key words are on average! In other words: you can't judge someone's ability by their gender, so you have to ignore their gender and test it another way. The problem comes when looking at the average number of men vs women in a profession, because you don't know whether it's down to a real average difference between the genders or out and out prejudice at individual hirings!

  30. Gosh. Somebody claiming to be Peter Hitchens has now turned up on the Vernon thread, and might actually be him. I think Google Alerts must have given him the tip-off that his name was being taken in vain.

  31. Re rationality and sex / gender (huh where do I begin?) is all old hat to me. Can treat at various levels societal is science male mode? Or at individual level is rationality a male 'brain'? S Baron Cohen argues for this re autism aspergers 'spectrum'.

    But really both terms (rationality and sex and sex is not gender) ill defined and confused.

    Can examine human rationality etc scientifically.

    Looks at procedural R (rational process) and substantive R (rational by outcome). The first is actuve and from the perspective of the actor the later is passive and from the perspective of the observer.

    Human R is also bounded (Herb Simon) and evolved, so has peculiarities from the specific evolutionary history. Psychology provides info re all this kind of stuff much more than does philosophy especially practically.

    Sorry to hear of your woes NapK

  32. Gordon Brown on election call.

    This could be nasty.

    Or immensely dull.

    One or the other...

  33. second call in, first labour shill.

    fairly shameless...

  34. Ooh, caller 4 turns out to be a retired economics professor, not just the sweet elderly lady she initially appeared to be...heheheh.

  35. Bloody Housemartin has flown into my building at work! Poor thing..

    Sorry the joke was dated EW;

    4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14

    Requested age range of alterboys for pope's visit?

  36. Hung parliament question - dogged stonewalling from Gordo "we're not thinking about that" - lovely comeback from caller "well, do you not think you should give it some thought?"

  37. Ha ha, well done that caller!

  38. Anyway, it is a nice day. Hopefully I should be ok. I am going to go out to the job centre, (Hell on earth), maybe go home and come back later. Cheers!

  39. Good work, turm: As tasteless as before, but now it's up to date.

  40. Hi All

    Re rational or otherwise brains.

    we have many expressions in common parlance such as 'scatterbrain' which are usually applied only to women. Why is this ? This patriarchal lexicon has been established to undermine the thinking capacity of women - such derisory comments should be either banned or applied across the gender spectrum. These expressions are are on a par with 'slut' as opposed to 'stud' with ref to sexual behaviour.

    We need a return to Goddess based rather than God based appreciation of the obvious differences and similarities between men and women with all favourable words going to the female - and obviously superior - side and all the rubbish and condemnatory descriptors being placed rightly where they belong , ie on men.

    Please sign upfor my campaign to ban all derisory , condemnatory or belittling words or expressions which relate to women. Women. bare your breasts, take up the sword and place the enemy in servitude.

  41. Turminder

    Don't know nature of your building but if there is constant access housemartins often build nests inside.

  42. Pen

    There have been several attempts to 'normalise' Aspergers by placing it on far end of male spectrum - this fails to accont for women with Aspergers.

    As you know it is now speculated that there is connection between A and other autistic spectrum disorders with failure to develop theory of mind. Truth is autism is little understood.

    Some men are more rational than some women - some women are more rational than some men - what mre can we say ?

  43. Hi Leni yeah I am no fan of SBC and his male and female brains, the work's poor. Also find the idea of spectrum naive as it is more like a distribution on a dimension than a spectrum.

    Rationality is as much process and this can be taught to most so it depends as much upon such factors as any 'innate' proclivity. There are sex differences but these mostly relate to reproduction and both males and females share a common world in fact.

    I keep my godesses and gods in turmoil, flipping one over the other, but yes Venus dominates Mars and thus females are always one rank up aren't they?

  44. I hope the housemartin has left by the opened windows, the building is old mill and farm buildings, so I guess the housemartins have a prior tennancy!

    I had an ex who had (or had read) a theory that as well as a physical gender we all have an; emotional, a mental, a sexual gender, or rather a position on a scale... E.g you could be a gay man with 'feminine' emotions, or a straight woman, with 'male' sexual attitudes..

  45. Lenni - I think "Boobquake" was yesterday. Other than that, right with you, hehehe.

  46. TXuss, there is physical sex (xx xy but also xxy and xyy) and there is gender.

    The expression of the genotype (ie as physique) will vary more dimensionally and be subject to environmental factors.

    Gender - the social expression of sex adds more complexity. Sandr Bem has a two dimensional scheme (one d for maleness and one for femaleness ) gives a 2 x 2 format (can be high on both ds, low on both, and other perms) can perm with actual sex (and treat physique as continuous var) to give a 2 x 2 x 2 with covar. scheme.

    Essentially sex is fluid like glass but gender is fluid like treacle.

  47. Pen + turminder

    There is research which speculates (considers proven ) that finger patterns indicate a male or female type of brain - there is a determination to put us all on one side or the other in this great debate !

    Of course rational thinking can be taught - schools no longer teach thinking at all - concentrate on long list of 'facts' - received wisdom etc. Make no attempt to connect so called facts whith anything which explains parameters within which so called facts hold true.

    Rationality depends upon context - G Bush is regarded by many as rational - within te framework of 'spreading democracy etc ' - this is clearly irrational in itself and ignores reality of so many things.

    Sanity often lies witin the perceived to be irrational sphere.

  48. Where has my post gone ? Grr

  49. My comments are being shown as posted but are not arriving.

    Will try again later

  50. The universal language of film quoting
    Darragh McManus. not long up on Cif, didn't we do this last weekend?

  51. interesting discussion on sex gender and science. Pen I agree that SBC's work is flawed and I note with wry amusement that when I did his questionaire it 'showed' that my brain didn't know what sex it was! (To be fair he does claim that this has nothing to do with sex or sexuality but that systematising?organising brains are more common in males and empathic ones are more common in females. Even if this is true its of no use when dealing with individuals.

    I actually think we tend to gender things too much and concentrate too much on 'averages' we then proceed to treat individuals as if they are 'average'. As it 'this is a woman so she will be lousy at physics (or philosophy).

    In my dream society everyone would be encouraged to follow their own 'bent' and be respected for the skills they develop regardless of gender.

    Trouble is we do not spend enough time (or have small enough classes!) to observe our kids and discover what their real interests are. Vast numbers of people do not reach their potential at all at the moment!

  52. Afternoon people. Are you sitting comfortably? I'll tell you a story from an NF flyer which just arrived...

    'We believe that the Liberal, Labour and Conservative parties are quietly working together whilst pretending to be separate parties. Note the extraordinary number of Ministers and shadow Ministers who could be described as being of Eastern European (Marxist) extraction. The NF is a moderate centre party. It is a (sic) neither right nor left.'

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. Graham says:

    Return to our traditional laws and freedoms (Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights.)
    Freedoms such as free speech and the freedom to choose your own workmates and friends.
    Low taxes - Leave the European Union.
    No more foreign aid.
    (Low taxes because we don't have to pay the EU and support half the world.)
    No more foreign wars.
    No more "immigration".


  55. Shaz

    I got a UKIP flyer yesterday with a freepost address, wondering what to post to it?

  56. Shaz

    So the NF is a centrist party - along with Lab, Libdems and Cons? We are doomed

    the Eastern European remark is suggestive of deep dark conspiracy - attacking British values etc. Politics have become a sham - a game of mere words , no substance, Many will vote in reponse to fear mongering and prejudice - failing to note how far to the right parts of E Eu have moved - taking Cameron with them.

  57. Dot - D'you want my NF leaflet? They could compare notes!

  58. Leni - aye. On the local news yesterday there were some interviews with passers-by in Chatham about immigration - it was noticeable how neatly their responses coincided with the general UKIP/BNP scaremongering propaganda.

  59. Shaz - 'eastern European Marxists' is code for Jews, of course. I suppose 'rootless cosmopolitan Bolsheviks' has gone out of style.

  60. Leni, Bush is only marginally rational re process. Rationality is in some senses universal and global but actual actors are always located within the world and have only partial info and limited resources. Can also consider individual and collective rationalities - distributed networks of autonomous but linked agents (bit like the internet eh?). Lots of interesting stuff.

    Yeah Annetan, quite agree. For most stuff it is so irrelevant that it is a joke. My main interest in the sex and gender of someone pertains to my expectations etc re sexual interaction and not a lot else. Well except insofar as the 'female' is defined as the cooperative and the 'male' as competetitive.

    As I said venus dominates mars, cooperation / unity is prior to competition / plurality.

    We (humanity) need to become more compassionate and thoughtful, to extend the narrow selfish utility maximiser into a wide and deep distributed self, one that is smudged and smeared across reality. We need to recognise and respect how our selves are entangled with the world and with each other.

  61. God, Lord Pearson again...I realise the BBC has to be 'balanced', but arguably the UKIP vote would be bigger if people didn't get to hear the blithering idiot digging himself into ever-deeper holes...

    bang on, annetan. is there a quiz to take? ooh.

  62. Dot -
    "I got a UKIP flyer yesterday with a freepost address, wondering what to post to it? "

    Sheet lead (roofing material) - densest metal you can find reasonably easily...

  63. Annetan, the systematising and the empathising are also silly as one needs both just to be human. So SBC doesn't get that right either. The q'aire is mostly just a set of cliches and stereotypes it is no wonder then that he gets the same stuff out of it. It's so full of demand characteristics that it is of little value.

    Hi Shazz thanks for the welcome home card, it's loads more than any welcome from my birth family and was really nice of you.

  64. Pen - you're very welcome. Hope everything's going okay. x

  65. Afternoon everyone

    Napoleon - sounds as though things are being rather trying for you which is a pity but it really would help if you could manage to get down more than a couple of brews and some hobnobs. Even something cheap and cheerful like a kebab and some salad. Sorry to witter on in this mother henny way but not eating won't help to lift your mood and you do sound a bit down.


    We had a small woods worth of election literature delivered to the flats where I live and left in a heap in the lobby by the mail boxes. I noticed the following day that it had all been binned still in neat elastic banned piles.

    There seems to be very little enthusiasm and a lot of confusion about who to vote for in this election. My ex has decided to be a 'rootless cosmopolitan' and clear off to Egypt for the summer on the 5th so he doesn't have to vote for anyone. The rest of us still haven't decided.

  66. Sheet lead will have a resale value Philippa, just send a shit.

  67. turminder - aye, that would certainly have an impact, I was going more for the financial effect of sending them the heaviest thing that would fit in the envelope...

    latest Tory 'phobe PR fuck-up - no candidate in North Ayrshire and Arran...

  68. Jay,

    just replied to your mail.

    No time to stick around as we're up to our arse in unpacking boxes and getting the flat sorted.

    The horror, The horror.....

  69. Philippa/Xuss - sheet lead is an excellent suggestion but Turminder does have a point. Shit, however, is no good: you want something heavy and bulky.

  70. Perhaps a week's worth of horseshit sculpted and dried....

  71. thaumaturge - 'Shit, however, is no good: you want something heavy and bulky.'

    How about a double whammy...a month's worth of used disposable nappies...

  72. A bag of frozen prawns, that have spent a week by a radiator... Wrapped round a piece of uranium.

  73. Dott
    Anthrax ? Feather mites or body lice ?

    Possibly your well considered heavy weight opinion.

    See the Institute Fiscal Studies have finally said what we have all been saying - the truth of cuts following election will be draconian whoever wins. Accuses politicians of lying - who'd have thunk it ?

  74. Hi all. Have been quiet both here and on CiF (really can't be bothered at the moment: not feeling terribly humorous, and know that any serious posts over there either get predictable replies from party shills, get wilfully misinterpreted or plain misunderstood (not to pen's extent, mind).
    Haven't said so before, but all the best napK with the move and finding your feet.

  75. Hehe, brilliant suggestions!

    Hiya Alisdair

  76. Random thoughts on mental health treatments.

    Psychiatry: complete bullshit designed to part you from your money.

    Psychology: mostly complete bullshit but isn't quite as outré. Has the advantage of the 'appeal to authority' logical fallacy that can actually help people in some situations.

    Plain old counselling: quite effective. Impartial observer listening and, where required, criticising.

    Honest mates: best of all, but where one doesn't have them or won't listen, see third option.

    I'm leaving aside the drugs question, obviously, and just going for the talking cure side, but interested in people's comments.

  77. Well Thauma you dismiss psychology as mostly complete bullshit but do you know enough psychology to do so validly? I doubt it and it is hard to see what counseling is aside from the difficult notion of a truly impartial observer and what determines 'required' is unclear.

    Friends are all very well but in practice have all sorts of problems. Knowledge may be absent from peers as they may all reflect the same biases and attitudes.

    Valid psychology is the key.

    Would point out that I do not, for instance, come on a thread and say that all lawyers (or whatever) are crap.

    Not that I am a psychologist nor anything really other than myself.

  78. pen

    I think it may be fair to point out that thauma lived in the US for many years, where psychology is something of an industry. I'm not a psychologist either.

  79. Thauma + Pen

    The value of psychology - we could discuss forever !

    I have something I really must do but will leave you with 2 thoughts.

    Pen often mentions attribution theory but doesn't enlarge on it. We can look at this as personal or in terms of society. As the election is exercising our minds I chhose the latter.

    We often make attribution errors - that is we attribute to other something which perhaps we have to own some responsibilty at least. Like the aggresive kid who after kicking someone's head in will claim "he gave me the evils miss' . The reverse of this can be the person who always apologises if someone else bumps into them (It must be my fault)
    Simple examples which in themselves could be further analysed.

    So - the election. Redistribution of wealth. Is inequality structural ? Change the structure and we wil automaticall created fairer society - is this true ?

    Many blame (falsely attribute ) poverty on the poor - they're lazy, they're thick, the uderclass is ever with us, benefits are too high and encourage dependency etc. if they change then they will become rich.

    Can we turn that round in order to change those who control resources rather than blaming the powerless ? Who benefits from status quo ?

    martin Buber spoke of changing the Me/You relationship to I/Thou - - mutual respect, listening, wearing someone elses shoes. From this has developed humanistic psychology - concentrating on nature of relationships and attribution in terms of self and other. The maze we all have to tread towards understanding lies, I believe, in this area. respect for other - individual or group. Also about relationship with self.

    Psychology has , in terms of developmental psych. validly tied some things into neurological development - in other areas it is misused and used as a tool against. If it is to have any value it has to on a two way basis - not an imposition of theory onto individual or group/society . Both psychologist and 'subject' need to understand the journey - the learning experience.

    Pen will eat me for this very superficial precis of very complex subject.

    I think that is more than 2 thoughts.

  80. Leni

    More than 2 thoughts, but very though provoking.

  81. Leni - yes, v interesting - and following on from thauma's post, that 'attribution error' thing is not just something ascribed to others, perhaps? That's the CBT talking...

  82. A whole heap of new sign-ups on the Natasha Walter thread. I sense mischief...

  83. Bloody hell, there's dozens of them! A half-decent article on representation knocked soundly off-course by somebody having a laugh. Ah well...

  84. Evening all

    Was lurking earlier trying to follow the 'psyche'
    discussion but me raddled brain wasn,t up to the
    task.So i jumped from the frying pan into the fire
    and posted on a cif thread about the under-representation of women.Not a good idea when you,re
    knackerd.Am getting seriously bored with these
    gender blogs because of their predictability.Keep
    telling meself never again!

    Hope all.s well with everyone-especially Napoleon
    and Jennifera who seem to be up against it at the
    moment.Suggest you play that link Habib kindly
    did for me yesterday evening.Sometimes music can
    really lift your spirit.

  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

  86. Apparently the BNP hijacked a Manic Street Preachers song as their 'anthem'. How disconnected from reali...ah, yes, BNP. Sorry. As you were.

  87. Philippa

    After the use of Nimbus in the party political broadcast, I'm not surprised, but live in hope of another Marmite scenario, with the Manics making something of an issue about it.

  88. If Keane can manage to kick up an embarassing fuss after the Tory cock-up, I imagine MSP's response may involve weaponry.

    Do hope so...

  89. Philippa

    I hope so too! But just found this:

    "According to Simon Darby, spokesperson for the BNP, the Manic's song had somehow been streamed to the BNP site by mistake - noting that users often posted material not necessarily approved of by the party.

    However the song got on there, the Manic's record company was less than thrilled. When SonyBMG called in the lawyers and issued a cease-and-desist order, the clips disappeared from YouTube and the song was pulled from the BNP site".

    Same excuses as were given for the Marmite scenario - 'we didn't do it, someone else did'.

    Also same excuse trotted out for BNP flyposting during elections (currently happening) so that they can avoid paying local councils for the cost of the flyposter clean up. We muggins council tax payers then have to stump up. The party really cares about we British taxpayers.

  90. Aha - but this on the BNP website looks like their 'legal adviser' (and criminally bad poet) is not currently available...
    "British National Party chairman Nick Griffin will personally defend the party at the London High Court in the Marmite smear campaign case this coming Thursday 29 April"
    They're fighting back with instructions to supporters how to complain to the ASA. After they saw this.

    To be fair, Marmite appear to have some shit-hot ad guys on board...

  91. Sadly, I can't get the BNP website right now to read the press statement but look forward enormously to details of the encounter in the High Court.

    Must crawl off to bed now and take some respite from the trolls on the Walters thread - making my sides hurt, all that laughing.