Hewing the Heuristic

I know someone who regularly visits the strangest, most extreme corners of the Internet, to experience a kind of macabre bemusement.  They flit from Canadian Association for Equality to A Voice for Men to Return of Kings; they follow trails that start at Fox News and end at Stormfront or r/coontown; they learn about Gamergate by letting Vivian James lead them from TotalBiscuit deep into the places where the movement-that-wasn’t bleeds into these and other right-wing hate groups.

It’s an interesting and rather informative approach.  For people with the stomach to view and cogitate over that level of violence-fomenting hatred, there probably isn’t a better way to see the clear links between the more extreme versions and the ones that more pointedly bring themselves mainstream attention.  It’s a way to remind oneself that the quieter, front-facing versions are direct gateways into deeper wells of horror, and that the worse versions of all these things are worse as a matter of degree, not kind.

The thing is, this kind of searching also leads one into the weird, anti-scientific, decidedly baffling underbelly of many other movements as well, including movements that are utterly benign.

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Hewing the Heuristic

The Shoes Are Not Impractical – You Are

[Spoilers for Jurassic World follow]

Jurassic World is a spectacular film.  The scale of the resurrected-dinosaur franchise did not appreciably increase with the previous two sequels two decades ago, but here, it swells to encompass a larger ecology of reborn dinosaurs, a larger setting, and a larger cinematic vision, which is a fitting continuation to the spectacle of its forebears.  Less fortunately, that larger scale has pushed the franchise away from its suspenseful, adventure-film roots toward creature-feature garishness.  At least they added or restored several characters of color and acknowledged in-universe that their undead sauropsids often bear only superficial resemblance to their ostensible forebears.

As much as the biologist in me was shrieking the whole time, the movie had one joyous redeeming feature, and that was Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, Claire Dearing.

Claire Dearing looking sarcastically on. From MovieWeb.com.

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The Shoes Are Not Impractical – You Are

Adversarial Sexism in Hispanic Culture

That’s pretty much all one needs to know about how Hispanic culture deals with women. 
Men have to be macho: bold, loud, fiery, presumptuous, domineering, absolutely certain about everything, and sexually insatiable.  He has to take every chance he can to touch women who strike his fancy, with only the barest pretense of caring whether she approves.  Romance is a distant third priority to raw sexual passion and maintaining a sense of unequal power in as many of his relationships as he possibly can.  Any man who doesn’t enthusiastically exhibit all of those traits isn’t worthy of the term.

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Adversarial Sexism in Hispanic Culture