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Russia’s LGBT Community Is Putin’s Scapegoat

18 Aug

Time's Tyrant of the Year

Russia, according to Ian Bateson, is less a dystopian oddity than a fledgling democracy where a beleaguered leader needs a scapegoat to head off populist outrage.

The spread of anti-homosexual propaganda laws in Russia has coincided with a general tightening of freedoms and civil society, and most notably recent crackdowns on non-government organizations and opposition leaders. Asylee and photographer Alexander Kargaltsev, 28, sees it as all being interrelated. “[The new law] indulges populism to shore up popularity ratings and draw attention away from the areas where the government is failing such as education, healthcare, corruption, and reliance on natural resources.”

Judging by the standard set by the Soviet Union when homosexuality was illegal and then legalized in the Yeltsin era, that Boris the boozing buffoon Americans came to ridicule now looks positively enlightened.



Ego, Noble Cause Corruption, and Julian Assange

12 Jun

Noble Cause CorruptionI take for granted that pundits and the U.S. intelligence community will engage in character assassination, but perhaps, as Alex Gibney argues, we should knock down whistle blowers, like Eric Snowdon, and public figures, like Jeffrey Toobin, all as narcissists. Then, the field leveled, we can have a real debate, one which I doubt Toobin wants or could hold his own in. I doubt any American media figure has the intellectual chops or moral courage for that sort of unprofitable activity. It’s easier just to tar one’s opponent, and, ultimately, this line of argument is beneath us.

Alex Gibney in the above-linked Bloggingheads. tv diavlog brings up a notion, that if we consider, would guard our own opinions against self-righteousness: “noble cause corruption“.

Noble cause corruption must be distinguished from traditional corruption. Traditional corruption is defined as the use of one’s official position for personal benefit and gain. Personal benefit and gain may refer to accumulation of more wealth or getting sexual pleasure or simply deriving pleasure from doing bad or evil things. Contrary to noble cause corruption, a person who is traditionally corrupt does things only for himself. He does not seek to achieve any noble purpose but only seeks to pursue his own interest.

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Do Babies Judge By Voices Or Faces?

9 Jun

mouth_translationThis is an important issue, when infants are increasingly maturing in multilingual environments, and parents are making decisions on education based on theories about human social reasoning. According to Katherine Kinzler, kids like to hear someone speaking in their native languages, and not foreign languages.

This could be useful to know for educators seeking to immerse babies in foreign languages.


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