It is exactly what it says on the label, an introduction to Lacan. There is a brief overview of his life and times, living through WWII and a younger contemporary of Mr Freud. Mr Lacans’ intellectual development is sketched, which seems to be important as his intellect refolded & reforged his old ideas so that one may become confused by a shift in the concepts. There are some very interesting ideas in these pages; a child has no cohesive body image and must learn its own shape, that our identity is how we describe ourselves therefor a seat of our identity is our common language & beyond any individual, that each person is an expression of the same human equation in parallel to rules of arithmetic (BOMDAS) which are expressed with specific digits and patterns. The style of writing is somewhat laconic, which suits an introduction.
Let’s be clear, it is an !intellectual! biography. So although Mr. Popper met Einstein, Oppenheim, Mach (as in who Mach speed is named after), and fled Austria during the invasion of WWII, this is about him trying to describe how his mind matured, and not that one time Einstein farted in a lecture or something so human.
Karl Poppers’ work on the scientific method is a demonstration of the worth of philosophy, an inspiration. Mr. Popper developed improvements of the scientific method, how to create hypotheses & what it means to be scientific. His social or political philosophy does not receive a lot of attention in the book, which is a little frustrating as Open Society & The Poverty Of Historicism sound like quite interesting books.
There is some curious trivia to be gleaned from these pages, such as the development of polyphonic music in choral singing during the Dark Ages. However, it means dragging your eyes across thought experiments of interest to the likes of Einstein and Mach. His style is clear, his deep interest in physics fills up many pages.
The book is incredibly well annotated, 309 total notes in the back pages and some split into multiple points with multiple paragraphs. Most are the sort of notes one would expect in an academic setting though, and provide a little extra. An eight page ‘select bibliography’ and an eight page index completes the book.
There is a Minister for Women. She is not chosen democratically, the duty is loosely described as “to ensure that women’s issues and gender equality are taken into consideration in policy and program development and implementation”. The Minister for Women has been a consistent role since 1983. I do not believe the role should be temporary, and should be permanent for the next 50 or 100 years, perhaps further. Rather this is an attempt to persuade you the reader, that the obvious complementary role, that of a Minister for Men, is a meaningful suggestion to develop our society.
If the role of Minister is justified as a better method to act on problems which disproportionately affect women (as opposed to a focus from relevant ministers i.e. domestic violence being adequately addressed by the Minister of Police), then it is or will become worthy to extend a similar role to address disproportionately male problems. There are problems (i.e. overtime-overworked, suicide, victims of most non-sexual violent crime, inconsistent university entry & graduation, shorter life expectancy, employment-divorce) which disproportionately affect men.
Male hegemony dominated most historic Australian societies, but it is greatly reduced in Australia after the turn of the millennium. Issues of focus for feminism remain, for example there is not an approximate balance of genders in parliament. To cut to the chase, the stereotypical straight, white male who dominates peak positions in media, business, society and politics is under no obligation to represent men. Feminism, as virtue, or its counterpart misogyny, as vice, is a tool of female politicians, and masculinity, or misandry (this issue was sometimes in jest, yet anecdotally, a university sociologist told me sincerely, speedos delivered a sexist advantage to his government), do not follow the same dynamic. Mens rights are often treated as an attempt to restore society to a Victorian era status quo, and simply blaming masculinity is acceptable to mainstream media.
I must personally & briefly reject the definition of feminism as someone who holds gender equality as a community value, this is an underpinning value but this definition does not even mention the focus on womens rights & issues which is essential to feminism.
The Australian of the Year made an appearance on Q&A earlier this year. David Morrison, as a manifestation of the above mentioned stereotype of the elite, straight, white male, spoke of domestic violence as Australias no. 1 social problem. It was pertinent to the question, but it was false, I’m certain by ignorance and not intent. I understand the role of AotY is under no obligation to develop & maintain a deep awareness of Australian society. Mr. Morrison’s comments follow a politically correct hierarchy of victimhood. To briefly demonstrate the falseness of a claim that domestic violence is the number one social issue (approximate numbers, links here or elsewhere in article);
– domestic violence kills slightly more than once a week mostly women,
– suicide kills roughly 38 per week an approximate gender ratio of 3 men : 1 woman,
– murder kills about 5 per week an approximate gender ratio of 3 men : 2 women,
– drug abuse kills 14 per week an approximate gender ratio of 9 men : 5 women*.
In raw terms of lives lost, domestic violence does not compare to other issues. Breaking down the discussion on murder into specific terms is useful in discussion and in pursuing a better tomorrow. Nevertheless, the male hegemony does not pursue the suffering of men, particularly premature death, a Minister for Men can fulfill that duty.
To briefly focus on the above mentioned politically correct hierarchy of victimhood. This is an extension of political correctness beyond it’s most practical realm. This practical realm is the need for a certain politeness for those who have a massive audience. Presidential nominees as well as Batman films can, inadvertently, trigger the mad &/ sad to do bad things and I am suspicious of more insidious effects. Political correctness can transgress this practical boundary, for example the suffering of Justine Sacco for using sarcasm on the internet.
To return to the title, a Minister for Men could work on solving or reducing the problems which disproportionately affect men. Our community continues to offer less support for men, than for women. Examples abound, Royal Women & Children’s Hospitals are a signal of care which has no equal for men, of course hospitals do not forcibly expel men seeking medical assistance. News articles about domestic violence always come with a phone number to call for immediate human contact, a form of social support. This support is not found in most articles with male victims.
To be positive, modern lifestyles are mostly better than historic lifestyles. This post is intended to be critical of some effects of feminism and political correctness, however it hopefully is not destructive to worthy objectives and is constructive towards a better tomorrow. If it has been persuasive, please sign the petition and join me in calling for a Minister for Men.
Let me leave you with a question, what should be required from a could-be father in relation to an abortion?
Road lights should have a triggering mechanism, which might act on the 1 kilmetre of road ahead. Especially remote and rural roads where there is little large wildlife, no strong winds (trees on the road), no flooding, no rockslides and similar. In Australia, and I imagine many, many other places, there are a lot of roads like that. It would reduce energy consumption and light pollution, which hurts insect biodiversity. If it is expensive to install, then it could be done when other roadworks are done. The technology already exists, pressure sensors at traffic lights or motion sensors, and would be simple to modify for this purpose.
Social support can be provided by a prison with the doors open. The security would protect the vulnerable. It would make it simpler to concentrate social support. It would provide a safe place for homeless to shower. It would be entirely ineffective at providing social support to remote & rural areas, there the tyranny of distance reigns. It could create a core for a secular community, as religious buildings are to religions. It would equalise social support somewhat, no special groups garnering greater goods, and could integrate into public transport.
There should be a government register which marks down politicians promises. If online, it could be extended to petitions. A media employee would be in regular contact with various media outlets, so that the public is regularly informed about the consistency of politicians.