Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Nation of Sluts? Brazil Goes Globo

Girls learn to be women -- and women learn to be sluts -- from the media. Romance novels, films, and especially soap operas and "soap Oprahs". Brazil's population of women is being taken over by the popular soap "Globo."
How much impact do the soaps have on real life? As recounted in papers from the Inter-American Development Bank, researchers tracked Globo’s expansion across the country and compared this to data on fertility and divorce.*

The results are most striking for the total fertility rate, which dropped from 6.3 children per woman in 1960 to 2.3 in 2000, despite contraception being officially discouraged for some of that time. This was because women moved to cities and opted to have fewer babies. The papers argue that the small, happy families portrayed on television contributed to this trend. Controlling for other factors, the arrival of Globo was associated with a decline of 0.6 percentage points in the probability of a woman giving birth in a given year. That is equivalent to the drop in the birth rate associated with a woman having two extra years of schooling

The effect on divorce was smaller, but noticeable. The researchers found that between 1975, when divorce was first mooted, and 1984 about one in five of the main characters in Globo soaps were divorced or separated, a higher percentage than in the real Brazil. These break-ups were not just a result of machismo: from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s about 30% of female lead characters in novelas were unfaithful to their partners. The researchers find that the arrival of Globo in an area was associated with a rise of 0.1-0.2 percentage points in the share of women aged 15-49 who were divorced or separated. The authors reckon that watching “empowered” women having fun in Rio made other women (a few of them anyway) more independent. _ImpactLab
One person's "empowered woman" may be another person's slut -- it depends upon a person's perspective.

I wonder if ancient Rome had soap operas, right up until the end? Would you like to know, "who were Rome's soap Oprahs?" Women take their cues from the herd, as they interpret it. The soap Oprahs of the world exert a huge impact on female behaviour, and on society at large. You may be a slave to a loosely knit web of puppet masters and puppet mistresses, pulling the strings on female behaviour everywhere except perhaps within the Muslim world. And how much longer can that bastion of male dominance hold out?

Cross-posted at Al Fin, You Sexy Thing!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Is Competence Dying Out In the Obama Age?

Within the next five years, an estimated 45 percent of engineers in U.S. electrical utilities will be eligible for retirement or will leave for other reasons, according to a 2008 survey by the Center for Energy Workforce Development. That percentage translates into some 7,000 power engineers that will be needed in the electric utility industry alone. But the problem doesn't stop there. According to the report, two to three times as many electric power engineers may be needed to fulfill the needs of the entire economy. PW
The shortage of qualified engineers for the power industry, the oil industry, the nuclear industry, the construction industry, and many other industries, threatens to stifle plans for a vibrant, sustainable future. Without the manpower to turn ideas into working industries, jobs, and economies, you may as well start mixing the final kool-aid.

This looming shortage of competence is the end result of a designed dumbing down of schools -- from K-12 through the university. The substitution in the curricula of political indoctrination in the place of competence-building procedural and declarative knowledge has created at least one lost generation so far. Under Obama, the process toward brain-wasting will only accelerate.

But competent generations eventually retire, and die off. If all you are left with is psychological neotenates, academic lobotomates, and incompetent Obama zombies, your future will be dismal. But that is precisely the direction the western world is headed.
Even if universities and colleges were teeming with engineering students, the educational institutions may not be well equipped to handle the demand. The Collaborative estimated that within the next five years, 40 percent of full-time senior engineering faculty will be eligible for retirement and that 27 percent may actually do so. A number of historically strong power engineering programs have ended or are close to doing so. _PW
The rapidly depleting supply of competent engineers is just the beginning of the problem. As young minds are being rapidly destroyed by a dysfunctional educational system and popular culture, their dimming consciousness is incapable of selecting career paths for the future.

The recent debacle on Wall Street involving faulty computer models and suicidal risk instrument derivatives suggests that the mind rot extends all the way to the Ivy League cream of the crop. And under Obama, millionaire investment bankers are being bailed out by custodians, auto mechanics, garbage collectors, and taxi cab drivers -- via forced taxation of hard-earned income. Corruption on top of incompetence! Is this the future of hope and change? It seems so.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Clueless Clown, Hapless Harlequin, Zombie King

A combination of wishful thinking and abject stupidity has landed the US (and the world) in a toxic pit of hazard. It is bad enough having an inexperienced, incompetent, and ideologically blindered clown of a president in control. Unfortunately, the US Congress is led by a group of corrupt and unscrupulous quasi-criminals the likes of which has not been seen in well over a century of government corruption in the US. To top it off, everyone that Obama appoints to the executive and to the courts appears to share in these global Obama-style inadequacies and failure to lead responsibly. This will be a very rough 4 years. Even a radical rearrangement of the House of Representatives in 2010 will not be enough to reverse the destruction of Obama's first 6 months, let alone the next two years. Decades will be required to recover from this episode of failure by American voters and media.

Abandoning a Nuclear Deterrent Out of Wishful Thinking

Obama's War On Business

Obama's Recovery Plan Can Only Fail

Obama Prefers the UN to the US

Entering an Obama Dark Age

China's Support for Jihad in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan

H/T Reverse Spins

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