Impossible to Emerge

Dysgenics is the study of factors producing the accumulation and perpetuation of defective or disadvantageous genes and traits in offspring of a particular population or species. The adjective “dysgenic” is the antonym of “eugenic”. It was first used by David Starr Jordan, describing the supposed dysgenic effects of World War I. Jordan believed that healthy men were as likely to die in modern warfare as anyone else, and that war killed only the physically healthy men of the populace whilst preserving the disabled at home. Richard Lynn in his Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations (1996) identified three main concerns: deterioration in health, in intelligence, and in conscientiousness.
It was virtually impossible to emerge from the Second World War after the desolation of entire regions and the butchery of over 35 million people in Europe. Just as the continent’s towns and cities had been replaced by a landscape of crumbling ruins, so too had families and communities been replaced by a series of gaping holes.

Song to Song

In Song to Song (2017), directed by Terrence Malick, I just wanted to see Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman together on screen. And I wasn’t disappointed, who knew how boring and melancholy this world could be when you are beautiful, sexy and awesome.

Redundant

In the late modern era, equality rapidly became the dominant value in human societies almost everywhere. This was partly due to the rise of new ideologies like humanism, liberalism and socialism. But it was also due to the industrial revolution, which made the masses more important than ever before. Industrial economies relied on masses of common workers, while industrial armies relied on masses of common soldiers. Governments in both democracies and dictatorships invested heavily in the health, education and welfare of the masses, because they needed millions of healthy labourers to work in the factories, and millions of loyal soldiers to serve in the armies.

Now, as we enter the post-industrial world, the masses are becoming redundant. The best armies no longer rely on millions of ordinary recruits, but rather on a relatively small number of highly professional soldiers using very high-tech kit and autonomous drones, robots and cyber-worms. Already today, most people are militarily useless. The same thing might soon happen in the civilian economy, too. As artificial intelligence (AI) outperforms humans in more and more skills, it is likely to replace humans in more and more jobs. Humans basically have just two types of skills – physical and cognitive – and if computers outperform us in both, they might outperform us in the new jobs just as in the old ones.

Once the masses lose their economic importance, the state loses at least some of the incentive to invest in their health, education and welfare. It’s very dangerous to be redundant. Your future depends on the goodwill of a small elite. Maybe there is goodwill for a few decades. But in a time of crisis, it would be very tempting, and easy, to toss you overboard.

The Strong Horse

When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse. (Osama bin Laden)

Police have named 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi as the person suspected of carrying out the suicide attack at Manchester Arena.
Abedi was born in Manchester on New Year’s Eve 1994 to Libyan parents, who had fled that country. Having spent a few years in London, the family moved to Manchester where his father used to do the call to prayer at a mosque in Didsbury.
Abedi went to school in Manchester and on to Salford University before dropping out, and worked in a bakery.
Friends remember him as a good footballer, a keen supporter of Manchester United and a user of cannabis.

Justiça Social

A visão cristã de que o homem nasceria imperfeito, mas poderia e deveria buscar pessoalmente a perfeição foi primeiramente questionada e depois trocada pela visão romântica de que o homem nascia naturalmente bom, mas era corrompido e transformado em mau por viver numa sociedade má. (Theodore Dalrymple

Nos finais de 1960 alguns intelectuais marxistas franceses foram ainda mais longe. Derrotadas as suas ideias na União Soviética, desviaram o foco das classes trabalhadoras para as divisões étnicas da sociedade, criando assim o cultural-marxismo. Mais uma vez, o mesmo não procura a igualdade de oportunidades, mas sim a igualdade de resultados. Como Noam Chomsky formulou: A engenharia social do Estado-providência procura anular a meritocracia, processo em que o conhecimento e a capacidade técnica conferem poder; a mesma é vista como uma ideologia egoísta de uma elite meritocrática que como Marx explicou, “define as condições especiais da sua emancipação como as únicas condições gerais capazes de salvar a sociedade moderna”.

Em Portugal, Catarina Marcelino, secretária de Estado para a Cidadania e Igualdade, diz que “temos uma base cultural que precisa de uma intervenção grande, uma sociedade machista que é preciso mudar”. Como não pode entrar na casa de cada português para mudar mentalidades e derrubar estereótipos de género, a secretária de Estado arranjou uma chave alternativa: a introdução da Educação para a cidadania nos currículos do ensino público desde o pré-escolar. Catarina Marcelino vê esta alteração curricular como o motor de ignição de uma catadupa de mudanças estruturais na sociedade portuguesa a longo prazo. “A escola pública forma pessoas, e formar pessoas não é só ensinar matemática. A igualdade de género vai influenciar o combate à violência doméstica porque deixam de existir desigualdades nas relações de poder. Daqui a dez anos já haverá efeitos sociais positivos”, acredita a secretária de Estado.

Saldanha, Lisboa

What can I do?

The great person is ahead of their time, the smart make something out of it, and the blockhead, sets themselves against it. (Jean Baudrillard)

White men have become an “endangered species” at the top of British business, according to Tesco chairman John Allan. Speaking to a business conference, Mr Allan said: “For a thousand years men have got most of these jobs. The pendulum has swung very significantly the other way and will do for the foreseeable future. If you are a white male, tough. You are an endangered species and you are going to have to work twice as hard. If you are female and from an ethnic background and preferably both, then you are in an extremely propitious period,” he added.

A former senior executive at Infosys has accused Indian software major Infosys of a racist bias that favours Indian techies over others. While roughly 1% of the US population is of the South Asian race and national origin, roughly 93%-94% of Infosys’s United States workforce is of the South Asian national origin (primarily Indian). This disproportionately South Asian and Indian workforce, by race and national origin, is a result of Infosys’s intentional employment discrimination against individuals who are not South Asian, including discrimination in the hiring, promotion, compensation, and termination of individuals.

The Supreme Court upheld the use of racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas, giving a vote of confidence to affirmative action policies. The court previously had upheld the use of race in college admissions in 1978, then again in 2003. Justice Samuel Alito slammed the decision as “affirmative action gone wild.” He said it allows the university to seek out African-American students with privileged backgrounds over low-income white and Asian students. The case was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white woman denied entry to her state’s flagship university in 2008. She ultimately graduated from Louisiana State University but had continued to press her case with the aid of a conservative legal group called the Project on Fair Representation. Edward Blum, the group’s president, said: “As long as universities like the University of Texas continue to treat applicants differently by race and ethnicity, the social fabric that holds us together as a nation will be weakened.” Speaking from the White House after the ruling, President Obama applauded the justices’ ruling.