Surfism

Clementine “the other gift that keeps on giving” Ford directs her ire at professional surfing this week.

Obviously she doesn’t feel the need to write about this week’s survey that lists the worst countries to live in if one was female, Saudi Arabia’s recent relaxation of the laws banning female drivers or, I dunno, any other actual tangible, physical, systemic, legal abuse of women anywhere in the world other than western countries.

Nope, the worst thing in the world of wimmin this week was that there is a 100% differential between the prize money for male surfers and female surfers.

It’s a fact, there is.

Using our razor we might investigate the possible reasons behind this.

A material piece of evidence might be found by looking at the viewing figures for various surfing competitions. Helpfully, direct comparisons between the popularity of male vs female competitions can be seen in real time by simply looking at the ASP World Tour YouTube channel.

The contests are helpfully separated on the channel and by looking at the viewing figures below it’s obvious to anybody with a mind open to the possibility that not everything is sexist that the girls are getting a fraction of the eyeballs than the boys.

No, really. It’s about a tenth of the viewing figures for nearly every comparison made.

How might we explain this anomaly? After all, as La Ford points out, they’re surfing the same waves.

Perhaps the majority of viewers are women and they like to ogle at the chiselled and highly-skilled men? Well, no, this study suggests not.

So, if men make up most YouTube viewers and dominate the viewing figures for sport, why aren’t they watching the athletic, toned girl surfers?

This must surely be the mystery of our age.

Bill’s Opinion

The total consistency of a performance delta in Olympic records (and any other objective sporting test you might use) between men and women would suggest that, as with everything else, elite males are more competent at surfing than elite females.

The professional surfing bodies pay their staff accordingly.

Clementine Ford dislikes the reality of this situation and claims it is due to sexism.

Actually it is due to the biological fact that humans are a dimorphic species.

Facts don’t care about Clementine’s feelings.

Give it a (stupid) name

The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, has named her newborn baby daughter – Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford. This organ wishes the first family of New Zealand very best wishes for their future health and happiness.

One does wonder at the choice of name for the wee bairn, however. Let’s unpack that, shall we?

The first name, Neve, is actually an anglicisation of the Gaelic name, “Naimh”, which is pronounced “Neeve”.

The next two names are Maori for “of love” and is the name of a hill near Ms. Arden’s home.

Then there’s Jacinda’s surname, Arden and her husband’s partner’s surname, Gayford.

Bill’s Opinion

If we were the sort of people who gave a damn about this type of thing, we could suggest that calling your daughter, “Neve Te Aroha” is #CulturalAppropriation of both Irish and Maori culture.

As for the thoroughly modern habit of not being married but double-barrelling the two parents’ surnames; has anyone stopped for one moment to think what the next generation will be called? When Neve Te Ahora has children, let’s say with a Mr. Ponsonby Smythe, will the progeny be cursed with having to fill out official forms with “Arden Gayford Ponsonby Smythe”?

Where does this all end?

In all aspects of their lives, the regressive left are ridiculous.

Let’s keep it low key and not make a fuss, Darling

Second marriages tend to be understated events; both parties are older, wiser, more experienced and often are focussed on making the public commitment to each other in front of a small group of close friends and family. Unless one or both parties were widowed, there’s a recognition that the “to death do us part” element of the commitment isn’t quite as legally-binding as they may have thought during the giddiness of their first attempt at the ceremony.

Obviously, there’s always an exception to prove the rule. Witness; planning a non-binary wedding.

I couldn’t even pick a pronoun. How was I supposed to decide what costume to wear on one of the most important days of my life?’

Yes, you sound a real catch, nice and stable, a great choice for a long term life partner.

“I’m in a body that isn’t saying the right things. It’s not me,” I explained. “I feel like I’m wearing a rubber suit all the time and nobody can see me inside it.”
“I see you,” he said. I knew he did. I felt it.

Is it just me or does anyone else remember this Peter Cook line from the classic film, Bedazzled;

George Spiggott (the Devil incarnate): In the words of Marcel Proust – and this applies to any woman in the world: If you can stay up and listen with a fair degree of attention to whatever garbage, no matter how stupid it is, that they’re coming out with, ’til ten minutes past four in the morning… you’re in.

I’d recommend not reading the article and, let’s face it, it’s on the Guardian’s website, so few will but it continues in a very similar LOOK AT ME!!! theme;

When I walk down the aisle this time, in front of every person who knows me, it will be as someone who lives in their body. Not a bride on a cake, but as myself, a person who is too complicated for the simple rituals that are the pattern of our lives.

Let’s have moment’s silence for all those poor brides and grooms who were married as people not living in their body, but brides on cakes who sadly were commensurately-simple for those simple rituals.

No, I’ve no idea what any of that word salad means either.

Further ramblings and some pictures of a woman with a short hair cut can be found here.

Bill’s Opinion

There are few modern ironies greater than the fact that the only member of ZZ Top not to proudly display a beard is called Frank Beard.

However, the lack of self-awareness of people who angst about what their preferred pronoun should be is a close candidate.

Logical inconsistency boomerangs

Today’s amusement is at the expense of the regressive progressive Legacy Press (c) and their take on the Commonwealth Games, currently taking place on the Gold Coast of Australia.

For those unfamiliar with the Commonwealth Games, think of them as the Special Olympics for countries that were colonised by Great Britain with the exception of the USA and basket case countries like Zimbabwe (although Myanmar is still competing).

To underline the purpose of the games, the original name in 1930 was The British Empire Games. Basically, it’s a way for all the athletes who would normally do “a Brian Jones” (i.e. not exit the pools) in the Olympics to get a medal. Which is pretty sad really, given the fact the Olympic Games itself is just a convenient way to bundle into a single event a collection of sports nobody normally pays to watch.

If the Olympics and Commonwealth Games’ actual sporting events are relatively pathetic spectacles, the opening ceremonies are even more tedious. It’s as if the event organisers sat around the planning table and said to each other, “I know what’ll liven up the prospect of a couple of weeks of synchronised diving and rhythmic gymnastics; a West End musical-style opening ceremony! Someone get Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John on the phone, stat!“.

The problem is, of course, if you have signed up to the entire list of left-wing “correct” positions to take on everything, yesterday’s opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games puts you into a tight spot, logically.

Why?

The Aboriginals; yesterday’s song and dance show was heavily-influenced by Australian Aboriginal dancing, music and ceremony.

On the one hand, commentators such as Phil Lutton want to underline the message that it’s time for Australia to ditch the historic links with the UK, that a constitutional monarchy is an anachronism in the 21st century, and that things were altogether better before Australia was colonised. On that theme, many of his colleagues from his newspaper have campaigned vociferously to change the date of the national day, Australia Day, from its current date of January 26th (the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet) to show solidarity with the oppressed first people.

On the other hand, many of those Aboriginal people willingly took place in the opening ceremony of an event which celebrates Australia’s history as a member of the British Empire and, latterly, the British Commonwealth, and yet there was a small group protesting outside the stadium.

What is the correct position to take without destroying one’s progressive credentials? It’s a fine line to tread and one for which Phil has our deepest sympathies, after all, he desperately wouldn’t want to express the “wrong” sentiment and incur the wrath of the Twitter pile-on crowd.

What results, of course, is an article brimming with cognitive dissonance, probably not helped by the late evening hour that he had to file his copy and the, presumably, free-flowing Aussie beer in the press room;

He starts in rambling, grammatically-clunky style, desperately trying to keep the representation of the para-athletes in parity with the able-bodied, and doesn’t improve much from there;

Surely, this is not the time for jingoism in our fragile sporting climate.

A statement he then quickly goes on to disprove, of course, dismissing the link to England as an anachronism whilst cheering the kilted Scots. News flash for Phil, it was called the “British Empire” for a reason; many of the more successful colonial masters weren’t actually English; Hong Kong’s Jardine (Scottish), Australia’s Macquarie (Scottish), New Zealand’s Hobson (Irish), for example. Further evidence might be found by perusing the place names of countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, where there will be plenty of instances of Aberdeen, Hamilton and Perth. The monarch of the empire may have been German English, but a large proportion of their subjects probably only stepped foot in England to travel to a port of emigration.

Then we get an anthropological history lesson, which is a nice touch from the Sydney Morning Herald’s sports correspondent;

….but, if we agree that the first people to arrive in Australia landed 65,000 years ago, they’d have done very well to have settled 2,700km away within the same year. Oh well, it’s a sports journalist we’re reading here, after all.

The article continues by celebrating the beaches of the Gold Coast and a cursory nod at some local government corruption in the 1980s, which is, well, obscure and not relevant.

At least we can all agree that Prince Charles and his wife did look out of place. Well, overdressed compared to the dancers at least. Actually, overdressed compared to any resident of the Gold Coast of Australia, a place where “singlet” is considered appropriate wardrobe regardless of the social appointment; beach, bar, court appearance, state funeral, etc…..

Bill’s Opinion

Sometimes a sporting event is just a sporting event and doesn’t really need to be used as a cultural guilt weapon, especially as very few Australians are even related to anyone who has ever oppressed an Aboriginal, let alone actually been personally responsible for such oppression.

Also, regardless of how one feels about the relevance of the role of a monarch in 21st century Australia, surely the one person who looks least out of place at the British Empire Commonwealth Games is a member of the British monarchy?

Lastly, could someone also please have a word with the Aboriginal people of Australia and get them to agree on whether the Commonwealth Games are a good or a bad thing so that we can all virtue signal in the correct manner, please?

“Not diverse enough”

Have a guess what today’s headline is describing. Go on, give it your best shot.

We’ll start you off with a few options;

  • An exclusive golf club with an outdated dress code,
  • A 200 year old London gentlemen’s club,
  • The executive team running a FTSE100 company,
  • The government cabinet of ministers,
  • The shadow government cabinet of ministers,
  • The board of a charity with somewhat “progressive” credentials,
  • The nominees for a prestigious movie awards event,
  • Henry, the mild mannered janitor?

Nope, it’s the awfully-right wing London Pride carnival.

A quick history lesson for the younger readers; London’s “Pride” was originally “Gay Pride”, and started in 1972 on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York. The riots were a response to Police brutality during a raid on a gay bar and are seen as a key pivot point for gay rights.

Language and definitions are useful milestones on the journey here. From the Wiki page on the Stonewall Riots (emphasis added);

Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless youth.

All of those groups in italics were comfortable enough to be grouped as “gay” for the purposes of the subsequent civil rights activism which resulted in discriminatory laws to be repealed. i.e. the LGBTQI movement of today would have just the one one letter, “G”, back then and the “LBTQ and I” folk would have willingly got right behind it.

Bill’s Opinion

What started out as a civil rights movement in the 1970s has been incredibly successful. When the gay rights movement is compared with other civil rights struggles (Blacks in the USA, Catholics in Northern Ireland, for example), it’s clear that the key goals of the movement have been achieved in a remarkably short time period.

When many individuals can agree on a common goal, they naturally self-identify within a group; that’s the “gay” part of gay pride, an individual’s sub-category of gayness is less important whilst the main shared goal is still being pursued.

Perhaps though, when the shared goal has been attained and the consensus can’t agree on a compelling replacement, the group will fracture back down to the individual level. At the lowest level of analysis, we are all ultimately sitting in our own unique subset at the intersection of a myriad of Venn Diagram circles. Finding critical common unaddressed needs, gripes and complaints across very diverse individuals is actually quite rare in most circumstances.

The current trend is for this fracturing of previously large groups into much more tightly-defined smaller groups, hence the continued proliferation of letters each year on the LBGTQI continuum.

This should be actively encouraged by any sane individual who loathes identity politics because the natural end of the road for this trend is that we are all considered a minority; the individual is the world’s smallest minority.

When critical thinking ends, self-hate begins

This briefly leapt into my Creepbook for Business timeline yesterday before I judiciously hit the “unfollow” button on the twat who thought this was appropriate to my professional life.

If that’s not bad enough, the comments should ruin any remaining hope you have for post-Renaissance Western civilisation. With very few exceptions, every response is a variant on virtue signalling, self- loathing, identity politics and really poor quality (if at all) critical thinking.

Obviously the flow chart is meant as a commentary on the fact that the most recent USA school shooter is a young white male.

It’s hard to think that anything good at all can result from these tragedies but at the very least we can identify who among us are absolute fools.

99% of the commentators on the above post, for example.

Bill’s Opinion

We could play the identity politics game and run a Pareto of numbers of gun crimes and murders by ethnicity of the perpetrator (first prize African American) or we could wave a finger at Virginia Tech, but we won’t.

Why? Because the reason we are in this shitty hole is mainly due to identity politics.

Oh, and the irony should not be lost that Ian Bremner’s employer is “Eurasia Group”, as in “we’ve always been at war with Eurasia“.

Useful Idiot.

The left discovers the pension Ponzi for the first time

Quoting from this CNN article.

In unrelated news, the USA currently has a Gross Federal Debt balance of 106% of GDP, or $20.24 trillion in change.

Bill’s Opinion

Either we’re worried about the national debt because we believe it needs to be paid back eventually or we’re sanguine because we don’t think it will need to be repaid.

If the former, then we must also be concerned about the creeping pension Ponzi.

If the latter, who gives a damn about pensions as we can simply roll the debt over and carry on borrowing?

Using pensions as a justification for increased immigration is illogical and disingenuous if you’re unconcerned about debt.

Lastly, “whites”? Sigh; yet more identity politics bollocks.

President Oprah

Tim Newman has a fun discussion about the latest hope of those Americans who are still tearfully nursing a heavily-underlined and bookmarked copy of “What Happened?” by Hillary Clinton; Oprah Winfrey is being groomed for a run at the 2020 Presidential election.

Is it possible that the TV show host is exactly the person who can make President Trump join the ignoble ranks of Presidents Carter, Bush Sr and other one termers?

Well, it very much depends on which of the reasons offered in “What Happened?” You feel contributed most to Hillary’s shock defeat, or indeed, whether there are reasons not listed which may be the root of the problem.

In case you’ve not consulted Hillary’s definitive assessment of the 2016 election recently, here’s a quick recap of the reasons she offered for losing having the election stolen from her;

  • James Comey
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Barrack Obama
  • Mitch McConnell
  • The New York Times
  • The media in general
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Jill Stein
  • Sexism
  • Racist white people
  • Deplorables, and
  • Hillary Clinton

Most of the above will be completely irrelevant in the 2020 election but Candidate Oprah may still have to deal with the Washington Post, the rest of the media, sexism, racists and those inconvenient deplorables.

Which of the reasons from this residual list might we deduce is the biggest challenge facing Oprah Winfrey for the 2020 race?

Yes, you there at the back?

What’s that? Sexism, racism and people who were labelled deplorable?

Top prize.

Now, if we were to produce a Venn Diagram of those three demographics, how large do we feel the common subset would be between all three?

10% of the total? 20%? More?

Next question; what would Hillary Clinton or Oprah Winfrey answer?

Bill’s Opinion

The answer to that question is why Winfrey stands little to no chance of beating Trump.

Privately, it’s possible Winfrey believes there is close to a 100% correlation between those deplorables who elected Trump and and America’s racists and sexists and for this reason, and this reason alone, her campaign will be unlikely to change the minds of the disaffected voters who perhaps objected to the label “deplorable” in 2016 and may still not enjoy that inference in 2 years’ time.

For those who are that way inclined, Sportsbet are offering 3.5 for a Trump 2nd term.

The pleasure, the privilege is mine

A video appeared on my Creepbook for Business feed today.

The first few seconds should be a good predictor of what’s to come, if your time is precious and you don’t want to completely ruin your blood pressure;

Put simply, if you had a sub-optimal start in life, you’re going to find yourself further away from the finish line and the lesson we should take from this is that this situation is unfair. The inference being that those of us who didn’t have such a sub-optimal start to life should accept that we have “privilege” and, presumably, hamstring ourselves to give others a fairer chance at the race of life.

Yes folks, this is what the CEO of BNP Paribas Sercurity Services India truly thinks. Now might be a good moment to check your pension funds to ensure no exposure to BNP’s stock.

As a very simple analogy, this video seems to illustrate a point we can all resonate with, as long as we don’t think too deeply about the subject. A little further contemplation brings up some uncomfortable questions though, such as;

  • Given we all have a different stating point, what would be the fairest mechanism to compensate for the differences and using what scientific or mathematical method?
  • Does this method factor in local differences? For example, the child of a displaced white farmer in Zimbabwe will presumably have to have some compensating actions to equalise their outcomes in relation to a relative of Robert Mugabe.
  • What’s the hierarchy of privilege, which restrictive component of our past and present trumps all others? Is one ethnicity more restrictive than another, if someone had diabetes plus an under-privileged ethnic background are they more or less privileged than a transgender person? Is there a handy matrix of relative victimhood we can refer to?
  • What role do genes play in the statistical probability of our relative success in life and, as a consequence, how do our informed choices affect us when we know the importance of certain genes? For example, if I know I have a family history of diabetes, how much can I mitigate the potential impact of the disease by making sensible dietary choices?

Bill’s Opinion

If there isn’t an objective mechanism for calculating the relevant impact of victimhood, we’ve just replaced one set of bias with another.

Depending on which twins study you reference, genetic differences can account for at least 50% of the differences in success across individuals.

Even if we could calculate the relative impacts of nurture, ethnicity, genes or a thousand other factors involved in our lives, it is surely counter-productive to society and humankind as a whole to use this knowledge to hamstring those not similarly impacted.

The modern game of trying to compete for “biggest victim” status (sometimes referred to as “intersectionality”) is massively-damaging to those in its targets.

Rather than encouraging a sense of victimhood, we should be showing examples of how people overcame disadvantage to thrive. It is highly unlikely that any of those examples will involve constant resentment of those better off.

I, racist robot

Machine learning is the new fidget spinner in IT circles, it would seem. The only problem is, those darn machines are sexist, racist bigots, just like the rest of us.

The article above explains how systems such as Google’s Sentiment Analyzer are producing results that infer a negative bias against certain groups based on ethnic, sexual or gender identifying nouns.

Everyone seems quite surprised and somewhat disappointed by this discovery.

Perhaps what should strike us as most strange about this is that anyone would predict that these systems would be unbiased.

Thinking about the root source of the learning material of the algorithms; all they have to start with is human speech and the written word. The programmers have let the software loose on the collected wisdom of mankind and asked it to draw its own conclusions.

Unsurprisingly, the software has discovered that we all use bias and we all use it all the time.

Perhaps the next conclusion the algorithms might offer is that bias is an entirely natural, logical and, indeed the only known way for humans to successful navigate the world.

“Bias” is a synonym for “in-group preference“, that is, the system every single one of our ancestors employed to stay alive.

Fear or careful suspicion of animals and plants of unknown species would have kept your and my ancestors alive on the plains of Africa long enough to mate and have offspring. That same fear and suspicion of other humans outside of their immediate group also protected our ancestors from being “victim zero” in the next inter-tribal raid.

Later in our evolutionary history, communicating at a distance with those outside of their immediate group will have saved countless of our ancestors from deadly diseases against which their genes hadn’t yet developed an immunity, again, allowing them to mate and have offspring.

How do we know this was a highly-successful strategy that beat all other competing strategies attempted by their peers?

Because I’m here and able to write this blog post and you are able to read it.

Bill’s Opinion

There is nothing shameful about bias, per se. It has served us well throughout every previous generation. Irrational bias is, by its nature, illogical, but before we write off every momentary expression of in-group preference as racist/sexist/whatever the current “-ist” du jour is, we might consider whether it is actually irrational or whether there is any utility to be had by employing it.

In the words of G. K. Chesterton,

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.