Links for 14th September 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Postgendered athletes in sports: Should intersexed persons be allowed to compete?

    "It has been my contention that, as the human species enters into a transhuman condition, strictly stratified gender designations will begin to blur. Men and women will consciously trade-off advantageous gender-specific traits (both physical and cognitive), while discarding some gendered traits altogether. Gender may eventually become a thing of the past — a legacy of our biological heritage.

    Now, should the IAAF rule against intersexed persons, and by logical extension postgendered humans (including transgendered individuals), it would appear that the future has no place for these type of athletes.

    This will clearly become a problem of discrimination. And it will likely be compounded by all the other 'enhancement' related interventions that future holds."

    Tagged with: Caster-Semenyasportstranshumanismpostgenderintersexcompetitiondiscriminationposthumanismethics

  2. What Thatcher and Gorbachev really thought when the Berlin Wall came down

    "Two months earlier Margaret Thatcher had arrived in the Kremlin on a mission: to halt reunification. She trusted Mr Gorbachev. She trusted him to keep her secrets. She asked him to stop the tape recorders and the notetakers. Then she began. “The reunification of Germany is not in the interests of Britain and Western Europe,” she said. Forget what you have heard or read in Nato communiqués. “We don’t want a united Germany.” It would lead to a change in Europe’s postwar borders. “We cannot allow that, because such development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security.”

    Unfortunately for her, the notetakers did not forget what she said. They performed a service to history. We now know that 1989 was almost as traumatic for the West as it was for the East." Proof, if such were needed, that humankind improves in spite of politics, not because of it.

    Tagged with: GermanyreunificationBerlin-Wallcold-warpoliticsThatcher

  3. The Muppets and Gnosticism

    "… this notion of the fall making you forget who you are is a key part of the third act of Muppets take Manhattan, in which Kermit looses his memory and forgets who he is. He thinks he should be working for an ad agency (staffed by frogs) and does not know the power that is lost inside of him — except it cant stay hidden, as he plays a tune at the diner unconsciously, alerting all of his friends to who he really is. It is a good ratcheting up of the conflict in the first movie: there, muppets did not know they were muppets; here, Kermit — the origin, the gnostic muppet messiah — does not know he is Kermit." This is just wonderful, and totally serious. Do read it.

    Tagged with: religiongnosticismmuppetscriticismpostmodernismphilosophy

  4. Religion is not the primary motivation of suicide bombers

    "The evidence from the database largely discredits the common wisdom that the personality of suicide bombers and their religion are the principal cause of their actions. It shows that though religion can play a vital role in the recruitment and motivation of potential future suicide bombers, their real driving-force is a cocktail of motivations including politics, humiliation, revenge, retaliation and altruism. The configuration of these motivations is related to the specific circumstances of the political conflict behind the rise of suicide attacks in different countries."

    Tagged with: religionpoliticssuicide-bomberscultureterrorismresearchmotivation

  5. How To Integrate Facebook With WordPress

    Does what it says on the tin; comprehensive as ever.

    Tagged with: webdevwordpressfacebookintegrationtutorialapplicationAPIplugin

  6. Five consumer laws you really ought to know

    UK consumer laws; an idiot's guide to the stuff that retailers won't tell you.

    Tagged with: UKconsumerpurchasegoodslawsrefundreplacementrightswarrantyreference

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