Race is a social construct, largely based on culture and language. In biological and genetic terms it simply does not exist. Looking at the genes, scientists simply cannot form racial categories. Angela Saini, of Indian heritage and living in England, has been investigating the issue in her recently published book Superior: The return of race science. See her New Scientist article and in The GuardianWhy race science is on the rise again.
In the 19th century there was a common assumption that a hierarchy existed with the European male at the pinnacle. Yet modern science shows that:
There is no gene that exists in all the members of one racial group and not another. We are all a product of ancient and recent migration.
When you are my age, making your will, and the lawyer asks you how you want your body disposed of, it is not just a box to tick. Basically I don’t much care, I won’t be around to take any responsibility, the executors of my will and remaining close family can do what the like.
However, I don’t like the idea of taking up space. So the idea of being incinerated and ashes sprinkled in a rain forest has some attraction. Yet there is irony in using a blast of gas to add however minimally to atmospheric greenhouse emissions.
The sun came up on Sunday morning after the election, and has continued to do so ever since. So perhaps there was not a fundamental tear in basic fabric of reality as seemed to be the case on Saturday the night. So how is the rest of the world getting along?
Thailand is happy about being the least miserable country in the world in the in the Bloomberg Misery Index, which is an economic indicator devised by Arthur Okun, and is derived by simply adding the forecasts of unemployment and inflation for the following year.
However, Thailand’s performance in the index is due to the Thai government’s unique way of tallying unemployment. More noteworthy are the performances of Switzerland, Japan and Singapore. For what it’s worth, here are the 10 least miserable: Continue reading Weekly salon 4/5→
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor and comedian with no political experience other than playing the role of president in a TV series, has won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, with near-complete counting showing he has won over 70% of the vote.
“Labor has become a party of lies, negativity and grievance. They have nothing to offer but a long, dreary whinge, interrupted by falsehoods”; and for good measure: “Bill Shorten is a liar. He cannot tell the truth. There is no point being mealy-mouthed about this. He is a liar*.”
That was actually Malcolm Turnbull last July, but if you Google you get similar stuff going back to at least 2012. The asterisk was to a note saying the Turnbull had joined with Mark Latham, who had once said: Continue reading Weekly salon 7/4→
That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:
The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.
People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:
there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.