July 3, 2011

Scott Adams on Men, Women, and Society

Filed under: Humour, Randomness — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:47

This one’s for the misanthopes! See, guys, at least one person understands your plight:

If you have a round peg that doesn’t fit in a square hole, do you blame the peg or the hole? You probably blame neither. We don’t assign blame to inanimate objects. But you might have some questions about the person who provided you with these mismatched items and set you up to fail.

[. . .]

Now consider human males. No doubt you have noticed an alarming trend in the news. Powerful men have been behaving badly, e.g. tweeting, raping, cheating, and being offensive to just about everyone in the entire world. The current view of such things is that the men are to blame for their own bad behavior. That seems right. Obviously we shouldn’t blame the victims. I think we all agree on that point. Blame and shame are society’s tools for keeping things under control.

The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn’t ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, “Here’s your square hole”?

The way society is organized at the moment, we have no choice but to blame men for bad behavior. If we allowed men to act like unrestrained horny animals, all hell would break loose. All I’m saying is that society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness. No one planned it that way. Things just drifted in that direction.

H/T Gerard Vanderleun for the link.

Separation of church, state, and common sense

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Government, Religion, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:11

The notion of separating church and state has been a good one: religion backed by the power of the government is a dire situation for non-believers and believers in other faiths. This, however, is just stupidity:

Veteran groups are taking legal action after they say they were banned from saying the words ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ during funeral services at the Houston National Cemetery.

Three veterans organisations are to take the Department of Veteran Affairs to court over claims that they have censored prayers and demanded that words be submitted in advance for government approval.

Cemetery officials ordered volunteers to stop telling families ‘God bless you’ at funeral and said that the words ‘God bless’ had to be removed from condolence cards, according to court documents filed this week in federal court.

H/T to Iowahawk, who commented “Apparently, the only person now allowed to say ‘God’ at a military funeral is Fred Phelps”.

Women now being recruited for US Special Forces work

Filed under: Military, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 10:01

Strategy Page has the details:

Earlier this year, the U.S. Army Special Forces began recruiting women for the first time. The women were needed for “Cultural Support Teams” (CST) for use in Afghanistan. There, it has been found that, if you send in female troops to an area, you are much more likely to get useful information from Afghan women. This was a technique that was developed, and worked, in Iraq. The U.S. Marine Corps pioneered the use of these all-woman CSTs.

The Special Forces does it differently, by using the same selection and training routines (in abbreviated format) for the women as they do for the men. Thus the Special Forces Assessment for CST volunteers is nine days, rather than 24 for the men. About half the volunteers do not pass this, a bit higher than the third of male volunteers who don’t make it. That’s probably because Special Forces recruits mostly infantry and other troops in combat jobs (where there is constant training to prepare you for the stress and physical demands of combat). The year-long Special Forces basic training has been cut to six weeks for CST members. That’s because the women are not expected to do a lot of the training and combat operations the male operators must be prepared for. For the women, selection is mainly concerned with intelligence and adaptability. The CSTs, after all, specialize in intelligence work and forming relationships with Afghan women. But the women do get a lot of weapons and special skill (like roping down from a helicopter) training during those six weeks.

So far this year, 30 CST operators have been sent to Afghanistan and their performance has been outstanding. Special Forces commanders want more CST troops, and want them fast. As word gets around about the success of the program, more women will volunteer. The actual work of each team (of 3-6 women, attacked to a twelve man ODA or “A Team”) is providing health care to women and children, collecting intelligence and participating in raids (where they can more easily search women for weapons and other contraband).

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